Evaluation of natural porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) subclinical infection and seroconversion dynamics in piglets vaccinated at different ages

This study aimed to determine the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) serological and virological dynamics in piglets vaccinated at different ages in a PCV2 subclinical infection (PCV2‑SI) scenario.
calendar icon 31 August 2017
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Oliver‑Ferrando et al. Vet Res (2016) 47:121

Method: Six hundred and forty‑four 2 week‑ old healthy piglets were selected and distributed into four treatment groups: vaccination at 3, 6 or 10 weeks of age (3W‑VAC, 6W‑VAC and 10W‑VAC groups, respectively) and unvaccinated pigs (NON‑VAC group).

Blood (n = 112 pigs) and oral fluid (OF) (n = 40 pens) samples were taken throughout the study to assess PCV2 load, humoral immunity and viral genotyping. Percentage of PCV2‑DNA positive sera mainly raised by 10 weeks of age, being maximum at 14 weeks of age, and then started to decrease at 18 and 25 weeks of age.

Results: Specifically, PCV2 vaccination at 3 or 6 weeks of age yielded similar results, since they produced an earlier seroconversion and reduced, at different sam‑ pling points, the proportion of viremic animals in comparison to the unvaccinated group.

In contrast, PCV2 vaccina‑ tion at 10 weeks of age only achieved such reduction at 25 weeks of age; in this case, vaccination coincided with the increase of the percentage of viremic pigs in the population.

Conclusion: Both serological techniques used in sera and OF offered similar results with a high and statistically significant correlation. In contrast, a higher percentage of PCV2 DNA positivity was detected in OF in comparison with sera. In conclusion, under the present study conditions, the optimal time for PCV2 piglet vaccination was at either 3 or 6 weeks of age.

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