In August 1995, the first case of porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome was diagnosed in the north-eastern part of Spain; the pig showed characteristic dermal and renal lesions. Between then and January 1996, nine further animals from five different herds were diagnosed; they showed signs of anorexia, depression and, sometimes, pyrexia. Diarrhoea, Glässer's disease, conjunctivitis and gastric ulcers also occurred on the farms where the diagnoses were made. The affected pigs died of renal failure with diffuse fibrinous glomerulonephritis and a systemic necrotising vasculitis. Chronic interstitial nephritis, glomerulosclerosis and scar-like marks on the skin were observed in chronic cases. Other common findings in both acute and chronic cases were a diffuse depletion of lymph node lymphocytes with infiltration by syncytial cells (50 per cent of cases) and interstitial pneumonia. All the animals tested positive for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) by serological tests and virus isolation. Serum urea and creatinine concentrations were above normal in the acutely affected animals. The pathogenesis of the condition is unknown but the lesions and immunopathological observations by other authors suggest that a type III hypersensitivity is a possible aetiology. The occurrence of PRRSV in these pigs suggests that the virus might be implicated in the pathogenesis of porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome.
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