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Exploratory metagenomic analyses of periweaning failure-to-thrive syndrome-affected pigs
  1. Giovanni Franzo1,
  2. Tuija Kekarainen2,
  3. Anna Llorens3,
  4. Florencia Correa-Fiz3 and
  5. Joaquim Segalés4,5
  1. 1Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, Legnaro, Italy
  2. 2Kuopio Center for Gene and Cell Therapy, Kuopio, Finland
  3. 3IRTA, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA, IRTA-UAB), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain
  4. 4UAB, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA, IRTA-UAB), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain
  5. 5Departament de Sanitat i Anatomia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, UAB, Bellaterra, Spain
  1. E-mail for correspondence; joaquim.segales{at}


Modern pig farming is characterised by the emergence of several syndromes whose aetiology is unclear or has a multifactorial origin, including periweaning failure-to-thrive syndrome (PFTS). In fact, its specific aetiology remains elusive, although several causes have been investigated over time. The present study aimed to investigate the potential role of viral agents in PFTS-affected and healthy animals by evaluating the virome composition of different organs using a metagenomic approach. This analysis allowed demonstrating a higher abundance of Porcine parvovirus 6 (PPV6) in healthy subjects while Ungulate bocaparvovirus 2 (BoPV2), Ungulate protoparvovirus 1 (PPV) and Porcine circovirus 3 (PCV-3) were increased in pigs with PFTS. No differential abundance of RNA viruses was found between PFTS-affected and control pigs. Remarkably, this is the first molecular characterisation of PPV6 and BoPV2 in Spain and one of the few all around the world, supporting their apparent widespread circulation. Interestingly, PCV-3 has been recently identified in several clinical-pathological conditions as well as in healthy pigs, while BoPV2 pathogenic potential is unknown. Although obtained results must be taken as preliminary, they open the door for further studies on the potential role of these viruses or their combination as predisposing factor/s for PFTS occurrence.

  • periweaning failure-to-thrive syndrome (PFTS)
  • metagenomics
  • Porcine circovirus 3
  • porcine parvovirus 6
  • Ungulate bocaparvovirus 2
  • Ungulate
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  • GF and TK contributed equally.

  • Funding This study was funded by a research service agreement with Zoetis (former Pfizer Animal Health).

  • Disclaimer Zoetis did not participate in the design and analyses performed.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Data for this study came from previous diagnostic animal studies performed at the Servei de Diagnòstic de Patologia Veterinaria from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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