To determine whether there is an effect of the timing of vaccination on porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2) replication and PCV-2-associated lesions, 78 pigs were randomly assigned to eight groups: group 1 (10 pigs) was vaccinated with a commercial Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vaccine at two and four weeks of age, group 2 (nine pigs) was vaccinated at four and six weeks of age, group 3 (10 pigs) at six and eight weeks of age and group 4 (10 pigs) at eight and 10 weeks of age; group 5 (nine pigs) was vaccinated once with a double dose at four weeks of age, and group 6 (10 pigs) was vaccinated once with a double dose at eight weeks of age. Groups 7 and 8, both of 10 pigs, were not vaccinated. At eight weeks of age, the pigs in groups 1 to 7 were inoculated with PCV-2. Fourteen days after they had been inoculated, the pigs in groups 1, 4 and 5 had significantly (P<0·05) more copies of the PCV-2 genome in their serum than the unvaccinated pigs. Microscopically, 14 of the 68 inoculated pigs had normal lymphoid tissues, 40 had mild PCV-2-associated lymphoid lesions and 14 had moderate lesions. The mean overall lymphoid lesions (lymphoid depletion, granulomatous inflammation, and quantity of PCV-2 antigen in spleen, tonsil, and five lymph nodes) were significantly (P<0·05) more severe in groups 4 and 5 than in groups 2, 3, 7 and 8.
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