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Objectives: To propose and evaluate a protocol to establish a diagnosis of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) at herd level.
Materials and methods: The data used included both laboratory data from previous epidemiological studies carried out in Italy, Denmark, and Spain and original postweaning mortality data collected from several herds in Denmark, France, Spain, and Sweden. Statistical process control techniques were used to analyze the longitudinal evolution of mortality in each herd.
Results: The analysis of data sets from three different countries showed that to diagnose at least one PMWS-affected pig with a probability > 95%, it is necessary to study a minimum of three to five pigs. Longitudinally collected data showed that when > 20 data points were available, a significant increase in mortality was always detected at close to the time of PMWS diagnosis. When <10 points were available, a significant increase in mortality was detected in four of six studied herds, although mortality percentages were always higher at the time of PMWS diagnosis than before diagnosis.
Implications: These results suggest that two conditions must be fulfilled to diagnose PMWS in a herd. Firstly, a significant increase in postweaning mortality, compared to the historical background in the herd, must be observed in association with clinical signs compatible with PMWS. Secondly, PMWS must be diagnosed in at least one of three to five necropsied pigs concurrently with the increase in mortality. Ruling out other potential causes of increased mortality is also necessary.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Swine Health and Production
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)129-136
StatePublished - 2012


  • Swine, Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome, Porcine circovirus type 2, Diagnosis, Statistical Process Control, PMWS, PCV2
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ID: 8054888