The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the capside (Cap) and replicase (Rep) proteins of Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) as well as the whole PCV2 (both PCV2a and PCV2b genotypes) in the induction of cell-mediated immunity upon infection. At 6 weeks of age, six pigs were intranasally inoculated with the Stoon 1010 (Stoon) isolate (PCV2a) and seven with the Sp-7-10-54-13 (Sp) isolate (PCV2b). None of the pigs developed clinical disease but the Sp group had significantly higher proportion of pigs with PCV2-associated lesions and PCV2 load in tissues compared to the Stoon group. In both groups, development of IFN-γ secreting cells (SC) in response to the whole PCV2 and Cap protein was detected by means of an ELISPOT from day 7 post-inoculation (PI) to the end of the study (21 days PI). Significant responses against Rep protein were only detected in Sp-inoculated pigs. No differences in ELISPOT results were seen when either PCV2a or PCV2b was used in vitro to recall peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in any group. Stimulation of PBMC with the whole virus but not with Cap or Rep protein induced IL-10-SC in all pigs regardless of their PCV2 infection status, indicating an innate origin of this response. The results from this study demonstrate that PCV2-infected pigs developed cell-mediated immunity to Cap and Rep proteins and that, in the course of a sub-clinical infection, development and strength of such responses are possibly related to the levels of PCV2 replication. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
- Cap protein
- Cell-mediated immunity
- Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)
- Rep protein