In an effort to understand the genetic diversity of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and the prevalence of PCV2 infection in Taiwanese herds, we have sequenced the complete genomes from PCV2-infected specimens and individually measured the antibody titer against PCV2 from pigs reared in Taiwan between the years 2000 and 2002. A total of 623 specimens originating from pigs displaying varied clinical signs were screened with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results showed that 309 pigs (49.6%) tested positive for PCV2. Eight of the positive specimens were used for the amplification of the complete viral genome. Sequence comparison of the complete genomes indicated that the 8 Taiwanese PCV2 isolates shared 95-99% similarity. Phylogenetic analysis of all 40 PCV2 isolates from North America, Europe, Asia and Taiwan revealed that those isolates were grouped together in one large group containing two minor subgroups. The Taiwanese PCV2 isolates were classified into the two minor subgroups. The prevalence of serum antibodies to PCV2 in pigs was investigated, and results showed that approximately 83.5% of the pigs in Taiwan were seropositive. Finishing pigs possess the highest titers of antibodies, while 9-week-old pigs contained the lowest titers for specific antibodies. Our results suggest that PCV2 infections have become common in Taiwanese pig farms.
2004 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science