Animal Health

Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) Surveillance Study

  • T. Opriessnig (Iowa State University)
  • Patrick G. Halbur (Iowa State University)


PMWS is characterized by a clinical history of wasting or poor performance in weaned pigs and by severe lymphoid depletion and histiocytic replacement of follicles in lymphoid tissues. The detection of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) antigen or nucleic acids within characteristic microscopic lesions is required for the diagnosis of PMWS.

Swine veterinarians submitted a specified set of samples from one hundred field cases that they felt fit the clinical definition of PMWS. All these cases were further analyzed for the presence or absence and scored for severity of the hallmark microscopic lesions (lymphoid depletion) of PMWS, the amount of PCV2 antigen associated with the lesions, and identification of concurrent bacterial and viral infections. Fifty-four of the 100 field cases were confirmed to be PMWS, whereas, no association with PCV2 was found in 46 of the cases. This highlights the need for further diagnostic testing, specifically histopathology and antigen detection, for confirmation of cases clinically suspected to be PMWS. This will become particularly important as vaccines for PCV2-associated diseases become approved for use.

Keywords: Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine

How to Cite:

Opriessnig, T. & Halbur, P. G., (2005) “Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) Surveillance Study”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2(1). doi:

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Published on
01 Jan 2005
Peer Reviewed