Development of cell-mediated immunity to porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in caesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived piglets

Maria Fort, Lana T. Fernandes, Miquel Nofrarias, Ivan Díaz, Marina Sibila, Joan Pujols, Enric Mateu, Joaquim Segalés

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78 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction between porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and the pig immune system has been suggested to be a determinant event for the pathogenesis of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). To gain insight into the host immune mechanisms developed upon PCV2 infection, early innate and adaptive immune responses were examined in 1-week-old, caesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived piglets using a subclinical infection model of PCV2 in combination with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a potential immunostimulation factor. The use of LPS did not show any significant effect on the course of PCV2 infection, nor did in the evolution of the immunological parameters evaluated. Ex vivo responses were detected as early as 1 day post-infection (PI) and consisted of an elevation of the plasmatic levels of interleukin (IL)-8 in PCV2-inoculated pigs followed by an increase on plasmatic IFN-α at day 5 PI. Regarding IL-10, only one PCV2-inoculated pig was positive (day 7 PI); this pig was the only one in which viremia persisted until the end of the study. In vitro cytokine determination showed that, regardless of the treatment administrated to the pigs, an IL-10 release was observed when peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultures were stimulated with PCV2. Seroconvertion to PCV2 measured by an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay (IPMA) occurred between 7 and 14 days PI, whereas neutralizing antibodies (NA) did not appear until day 29 PI. PCV2 DNA was first detected in serum at day 7 PI, reaching the peak of viremia between days 14 and 21 PI, followed by a drop in viral load that was found coincident with the appearance of PCV2-specific IFN-γ-secreting cells (PCV2-IFN-γ-SC) and NA. Results from the present work suggest that viral clearance might be mediated by the development of PCV2-IFN-γ-SC in contribution to the PCV2-specific NA. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009


  • Adaptive immune responses
  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Innate immune responses
  • Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)
  • Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS)


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