Histological lesions and replication sites of pcv3 in naturally infected pigs

Elisa Rigo De Conti, Talita Pilar Resende, Lacey Marshall-Lund, Albert Rovira, Fabio Augusto Vannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3) has been recently described as a potential cause of abor-tions and systemic vasculitis in pigs. Although the virus has been detected by real-time PCR in several porcine tissues from countries worldwide, PCV3-associated diseases have not been satisfac-torily clarified. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the presence of PCV3 mRNA detected by in situ hybridization (ISH) within histological lesions and PCV3 DNA detected by real-time PCR in naturally infected pigs. A total of 25 PCV3 PCR-positive cases were analyzed. Formalin-fixed tissues from these cases were evaluated for histologic lesions and for ISH-RNA positive signals for PCV3. The most frequent tissue type with histopathologic lesions was heart, 76.2%, with lymphoplasmacytic myocarditis and epicarditis as the most frequent lesions observed. Lymphoplasmacytic interstitial pneumonia was also a frequent finding, 47.6%. There were also lesions in kidney, liver, spleen and lymph nodes. PCV3-ISH-RNA positive signals were mostly observed in association with lymphoplasmacytic inflammatory infiltrate in various tissues, including arteries. Based on our results, the minimum set of specimens to be submitted for histopathology and mRNA in situ hybridization to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of PCV3 are heart, lung and lymphoid tissues (i.e., spleen and lymph nodes), especially for differential diagnosis related with PCV2-associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1520
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Histopathology
  • In situ hybridization
  • PCV3

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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