Immune response and persistence of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in infected pigs and farm units
The kinetics of the serum antibody response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and the persistence of the virus after infection were determined in experimentally and naturally infected pigs. In an experimental study, four specific pathogen free (SPF) sows were infected with a French strain of PRRS virus at 90 days of gestation, and their piglets (the test piglets) were monitored for 29 weeks from birth. In one litter, antibodies against PRRS virus were absent before the piglets had ingested colostrum. Four days after birth, passive antibodies were present in the serum of these piglets, but they had disappeared by three weeks (just before weaning) when clinical signs were observed in a minority of the pigs. In a second litter, most of the piglets had no detectable antibodies until they were four weeks old, and clinical signs were observed during their second week of life. By eight weeks, antibodies were detected in all the pigs, and they persisted until observations ceased at 29 weeks. Two groups of three SPF pigs were placed in direct contact with the test piglets when they were four weeks old and a group of five SPF pigs was placed in indirect contact when they were 13 weeks old. The first two groups showed clinical signs and seroconverted but the third group did not. At 22 weeks old, two of the test piglets were subjected to movement stress and were given exogenous corticosteroids, after which the in-contact SPF pigs developed clinical signs and seroconverted.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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