One kidney was taken from each of 100 pigs at slaughter; 50 had gross lesions of multifocal interstitial nephritis and 50 had no gross lesions. Forty-nine of the affected kidneys had lesions that were characterised by the presence of either a few randomly distributed or numerous widely disseminated pale foci, 1 to 3 mm in diameter, on the cortical surface (white-dotted kidneys). Microscopically, these focal inflammatory lesions often had a distinct lymphofollicular pattern (follicular nephritis). Lesions of chronic vasculitis were observed in 21 of the affected kidneys. Histologically, the control kidneys had only small and sparse inflammatory foci. Standard bacterial cultures of kidneys of both groups were not significant, and cultures for the isolation of leptospires were all negative. Virological examination of the kidney homogenates by PCR did not reveal any porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and only a few cases were positive for the porcine circovirus type 1. However, porcine parvovirus (PPV) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2) were detected in many kidneys of both groups but in a significantly higher proportion of the kidneys with interstitial nephritis. There was a significant association between the lesions and the presence of PPV and PCV-2 with odds ratios of 7.5 (P<0.0001) and 3.4 (P=0.0074), respectively, and the odds ratio increased to 22.7 (P<0.0001) when both viruses were identified in the same kidney. However, a subsample of kidneys taken from both groups were negative by immunohistochemistry for the presence of PPV and PCV-2 antigens.
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