A retrospective survey was performed to detect lesions of Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and nucleic acid of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from 189 pigs, and antibodies to this virus in sera of 388 pigs from the Spanish livestock between the years 1985 and 1997. PCV2 nucleic acid was detected by in situ hybridization (ISH) in tissues from 78 of 189 (41.3%) examined pigs. Variable amount of viral genome was detected in association with slight to severe microscopic lymphoid lesions consisting of lymphocyte depletion and histiocytic infiltration. The first positive case of PMWS with typical lesions and ISH positive corresponded to a pig necropsied in 1986. Two hundred and eighty-two of 388 (72.7%) sera were positive by immunoperoxidase monolayer assay. Serological and pathological data of the present study indicate that PCV2 was a enzootic infection in Spain since 1985, suggesting that the introduction of this virus in the livestock occurred previously.