Trade Suspected of Bringing Pig Diseases to Croatia

CROATIA - Recent research on porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in Croatia suggest that the current strains have been introduced by international trade in pigs.
calendar icon 10 June 2014
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Even though PCV2 and PRRSV have been present in the regions in Croatia for many years, the viral strains found in 2012 differ genetically from those detected earlier, according to a new study in Irish Veterinary Journal.

Authors of the study, including first named Jelena Prpic and colleagues at the Croatian Veterinary Institute in Zagreb, suggest that new strains of both viruses have entered the pig population in recent years, probably as a result of pig trade.

The researchers explain that PCV2 and PRRSV have been present for the last two decades in Croatia, causing large economical losses in the pig production.

The clinical features of the infections are mostly manifested by the development of respiratory problems, weight loss and poor growth performance, as well as reproductive failure in pregnant sows.

Even though the infections are continuously diagnosed in some regions in Croatia, the heterogeneity of the detected viral strains from 2012 had not been investigated.

The objective of their study, therefore, was to compare virus strains of PCV2 and PRRSV detected until 2008 in Croatia with strains isolated in 2012 to gain a better epidemiological understanding of these two infections.

The PCV2 and PRRSV strains detected in 2012 in fattening pigs from regions where these two diseases have been previously described were compared to strains that have been detected in the same regions within the past two decades.

Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the circulating PCV2 and PRRSV strains are distantly related to the previously described Croatian viral strains. However, when compared to known isolates from the GenBank, a high genetic identity was found between the Croatian PRRSV isolates and those from Hungary, Denmark and the Netherlands.


Prpic J., T. Keros, T. Bedekovic, D. Brnic, Z. Cvetnic, B. Roic and L. Jemersic. 2014. Phylogenetic comparison of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) strains detected in domestic pigs until 2008 and in 2012 in Croatia. Irish Veterinary Journal. 67:9. doi:10.1186/2046-0481-67-9

Further Reading

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