Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the primary causative agent of porcine circovirus–associated disease (PCVAD). The virus preferentially targets the lymphoid tissues, which leads to lymphoid depletion and immunosuppression in pigs. The disease is exacerbated by immunostimulation or concurrent infections with other pathogens. PCV2 resides in certain immune cells, such as macrophage and dendritic cells, and modulates their functions. Upregulation of IL-10 and proinflammatory cytokines in infected pigs may contribute to pathogenesis. Pig genetics influence host susceptibility to PCV2, but the viral genetic determinants for virulence remain unknown. PCV2 DNA and proteins interact with various cellular genes that control immune responses to regulate virus replication and pathogenesis. Both neutralizing antibodies and cell-mediated immunity are important immunological correlates of protection. Despite the availability of effective vaccines, variant strains of PCV2 continue to emerge. Although tremendous progress has been made toward understanding PCV2 pathogenesis and immune interactions, many important questions remain.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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