Two sows which had been vaccinated with an oil-emulsion porcine parvovirus vaccine, and had developed high haemagglutination-inhibiting antibody levels to the virus, farrowed three successive litters each, a total of 74 piglets. Serum samples from these piglets were tested for haemagglutination-inhibiting antibody at birth, three and 17 days after birth, and at monthly intervals thereafter to study the decline of maternally-derived antibody. Regression curves were constructed from the data to show the projected pathway (mean and 95 per cent tolerance limits) of the decline of maternally-derived antibody. Approximately half the pigs still had positive titres of up to 1/160 at six months old, and traces of antibody were detected in a few pigs at nine months. Thus, even at the onset of breeding some gilts can have maternally-derived antibody which may interfere with their ability to develop active immunity to porcine parvovirus. From the same litters three groups of 12 pigs were selected randomly and were vaccinated with a single dose of the oil-emulsion vaccine at 70 days, 130 days or 190 days respectively. Despite the presence of moderate to high titres of maternally-derived antibody, especially in the younger pigs, all of those vaccinated showed strong and long lasting antibody responses to the vaccine. High serum antibody titres at the time of vaccination seemed to depress the response to the vaccine slightly but the effect was not statistically significant. These results have important implications for prevention of reproductive failure induced by porcine parvovirus.
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