High rates of detection and complete genomic analysis of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) in the Lesser Antilles island of St. Kitts: Identification of PCV2b-PCV2d recombinants

Alyssa Kleymann, Esteban Soto, Oscar Illanes, Yashpal S. Malik, Carmen Fuentealba, Souvik Ghosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) is an economically important pathogen of swine, there is a lack of information on PCV2 from the Lesser Antilles. In this retrospective study, we report high rates of detection of PCV2 DNA in porcine faecal (41.3%, 26/63) and kidney (32.8%, 20/61) samples from the Lesser Antilles island of St. Kitts. Most of the PCV2-positive faecal samples were from diarrhoeic piglets (23/26), with 15 animals exhibiting stunted growth and/or weight loss. Although the PCV2-positive kidneys were from slaughter age, clinically healthy pigs, microscopically, various degrees of inflammation (mild, moderate or severe) were observed in 18 kidneys. Rotavirus-A, porcine parvovirus and torque teno sus virus were detected in 2, 4 and 14 PCV2-positive samples, respectively. The complete genomes of 18 St. Kitts PCV2 strains were amplified using three overlapping nested PCR assays designed in the present study. By phylogenetic analysis of PCV2 open reading frame 2 (ORF2) and complete genomes, 15 St. Kitts strains were assigned to genotype PCV2b. The remaining three PCV2 strains were identified as PCV2b-PCV2d recombinants, with the involvement of ORF2 in two of the strains. To our knowledge, this is the first report on detection and genotyping of PCV2 strains from the Lesser Antilles. Considering the significant contributions of pig farming to the regional livestock economy and increasing demand for local pork in the Lesser Antilles, our findings emphasize the importance of future studies on surveillance and genotyping of PCV2 in other Caribbean islands of the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • co-infection
  • complete genomic analysis
  • genotyping
  • Lesser Antilles
  • porcine circovirus 2
  • recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)

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