BackgroundPorcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a small single-stranded DNA virus and a primary cause of PCV-associated diseases (PCVAD) that result insubstantial economic loss for swine farms. Between 2016 and 2018, PCV2 field viruses were isolated from PCVAD-affected swine farms in South Korea and investigated for genetic and antigenic heterogeneity.ResultsThe genetic analysis of ORF2 showed that the genotype of the Korean PCV2 field isolates has been rapidly shifted from PCV2a or 2b to mutant PCV2b known as PCV2d with 82.6 to 100% amino acid sequence similarity. PCV2-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) demonstrated variable antigen-binding activity to four representative Korean PCV2 field isolates [QIA215 (PCV2a), QIA418 (PCV2b), QIA169 (PCV2d), and QIA244 (PCV2d)] without genotype specificity, and one mAb showed neutralization activity to QIA215. In a cross-virus neutralization assay using anti-PCV2 sera of pigs and guinea pigs injected with a commercial vaccine and the Korean PCV2 field isolates, the anti-porcine sera of a commercial vaccine had high neutralization activity against QIA215 and QIA418 with statistically lower activity against PCV2d viruses. Anti-guinea pig sera of QIA215, QIA418, QIA169, and a commercial vaccine had high neutralization activity against all of the viruses with significantly lower activity against QIA244. Importantly, anti-guinea pig sera of QIA244 had high neutralization activity against all of the viruses.ConclusionsThis study confirmed genetic and antigenic diversity among recent PCV2 field isolates in Korean swine farms, and the strain-based difference in virus neutralization capability should be considered for more effective control by vaccination.