One thousand condemned pigs' kidneys were collected in February 2002 from two pig abattoirs in England to assess the lesions due to postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (pmws) and porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (pdns) and the possible contribution of ochratoxicosis; 174 of the kidneys were pale, 295 were swollen and 81 were abnormally firm with the gross appearance of fibrosis. The main macroscopic finding was the presence of multifocal pale cortical lesions, observed in 446 of the kidneys, and there were large cysts in 266 of them. Histopathological lesions of non-suppurative tubulointerstitial nephritis, with degeneration and fibrosis of renal tubules, were identified in 213 of 250 (85·2 per cent) of the kidneys examined. These lesions were consistent with those reported in cases of pmws and pdns. The tubular degeneration and fibrosis were also consistent with ochratoxicosis. A higher mean concentration of ochratoxin A was significantly (P=0·020) associated with the presence of multifocal pale cortical lesions consistent with ochratoxicosis, but a causal relationship was not confirmed because histochemistry was not used to detect ochratoxin in the lesions directly. There was no significant correlation between the microscopic lesions and the concentration of ochratoxin. The degenerative lesions may have been caused by previous exposure to ochratoxin that had subsequently been excreted, but the microscopic lesions also included non-suppurative interstitial nephritis, which was unlikely to have been caused by ochratoxicosis.
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