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PMWS Research Archives

Published Monday, December 17, 2012: Vaccine - Volume 31, Issue 1, 17 December 2012, Pages 141–148
Antibody Repertoire Development in Fetal and Neonatal Piglets. XV. Porcine Circovirus Type 2 Infection Differentially Affects Serum IgG Levels and Antibodies to ORF2 in Piglets Free From Other Environmental Factors
Xiuzhu Sun, N. Wertz, K.M. Lager, J.E. Butler
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is an important pathogen in the porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC) and its persistence may be due to dysregulation of systemic immunity. We examined this contention using isolator piglets. We present data on Ig levels in serum and bronchio-alveolar lavage (BAL), on antibody response to PCV2 and to TNP conjugates used as model antigens in 48 PCV2-infected isolator piglets. We compared these to data from TNP-immunized isolator piglets colonized with a probiotic flora, those infected with swine influenza (S-FLU) and those infected with porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV). We found that PCV2 infection does not cause generalized hypergammaglobulinemia that characterizes PRRSV infections, but causes an unexplained increase in serum IgA. All animals had serum IgG to the ORF2 gene product of PCR2, but neither IgA nor IgG anti-ORF2 responses in BAL. PCV2 infection is a poor adjuvant since only natural anti-TNP antibodies were found. Unexpectedly, immunization appeared to result in lower Ig levels and lower anti-ORF2 responses. There was extreme variation in serum Ig levels in response to infection that could in part be traced to genetic and gender differences. These data suggest that non-replicating vaccines are unlikely to result in a significant primary antibody response but may prime the system for a secondary antibody and cytotoxic response following actual infection. In any case, developers may have to contend with significant genetic differences in the response of piglets to PCV2.

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