Porcine circovirus-like virus (PCLV) is a recently discovered virus that may be associated with diarrhea in pigs. To investigate the epidemic profile and genetic characteristics of this virus, 175 clinical samples (141 intestinal samples, 17 blood samples, and 17 fecal samples) were collected from diseased piglets during outbreaks of diarrhea from 33 pig farms in 19 cities of Henan and Shanxi provinces of China between 2016 and 2021 and were screened by PCR for the presence of PCLV. The results showed that the positive rate for PCLV was 32% (56/175) at the sample level, 60.6% (20/33) at the farm level, and 57.9% (11/19) at the city level, which varied from 5.88% to 44.12% between 2016 and 2021. It was also found that PCLV occurred in coinfections with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), PCV3, PCV4, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, but no nucleic acids were detected for transmissible gastroenteritis virus, porcine deltacoronavirus, or porcine rotavirus in piglets with diarrhea. Notably, PCLV was detected in 13 diarrheal piglets from four different farms that were negative for the other porcine viruses. These findings suggest that PCLV may be associated with porcine diarrhea and that it has been circulating in piglets in Henan and Shanxi provinces of China. In addition, the complete genomes of 13 PCLV strains were sequenced and found to share 35.4%-91.0% nucleotide sequence identity with sequences available in the GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis based on Rep amino acid sequences revealed that the 13 PCLV strains from this study clustered in group 1 and were closely related to eight Chinese PCLV strains, Bo-Circo-like virus CH, American strains 21 and 22, and Hungarian strains 288_4 and 302_4, but they differed genetically from seven other foreign PCLV strains. The whole genome and rep gene of 13 PCLV strains in this study were 72.2%-82% and 83.8%-89.7% identical, respectively, to those of Bo-Circo-like virus strain CH, indicating that PCLV is a novel virus in pigs that may be involved in cross-species transmission. Evidence of a recombination event was found in the rep region of the 13 PCLV strains sequenced. This study enriches the epidemiological data on PCLV infection in pigs in China and lays a foundation for further study on the pathogenesis of PCLV.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.