The identification of a new circovirus (Porcine Circovirus 3, PCV3) has raised concern because its impact on swine health is not fully known. In Fujian Province in eastern China, even its circulating status and genetic characteristics are unclear. Here, we tested 127 tissue samples from swine from Fujian Province that presented respiratory symptoms. All of the PCV3 positive samples were negative for many other pathogens involved in respiratory diseases like PCV2, PRRSV, and CSFV, suggesting that PCV3 is potentially pathogenic. From phylogenetic analysis, PCV3 strains are divided into two main clades and five sub-clades; PCV3a-1, PCV3a-2, PCV3a-3, PCV3b-1, and PCV3b-2. Our identified strains belong to genotypes PCV3a-1, PCV3a-2, PCV3a-3, and PCV3b-2, indicating a high degree of genetic diversity of PCV3 in Fujian province until 2019. Interestingly, we found the time of the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of PCV3 was dated to the 1950s, and PCV3 has a similar evolutionary rate as PCV2 (the main epidemic genotypes PCV2b and PCV2d). In addition, positive selection sites N56D/S and S77T/N on the capsid gene are located on the PCV3 antigen epitope, indicating that PCV3 is gradually adaptive in swine. In summary, our results provide important insights into the epidemiology of PCV3.
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