Markedly different immune responses and virus kinetics in littermates infected with porcine circovirus type 2 or porcine parvovirus type 1
Gerber, Priscilla F.
Matzinger, Shannon R.
Halbur, Patrick G.
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Porcine parvovirus type 1 (PPV1) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) are small single-stranded DNA viruses with high prevalence in the global pig population. The aim of this study was to compare and contrast PCV2 and PPV1 infections in high-health status pigs and to describe PCV2 long-term infection dynamics. Six caesarian derived colostrum-deprived pigs were randomly divided into two groups and were experimentally infected with PCV2 or PPV1 at 5 weeks of age. All pigs had detectable viremia by day (D) 3 post-infection. Pigs infected with PPV1 had a detectable INF-alpha response by D3 followed by a high IFN-gamma response by D6. The PPV1 pigs developed antibodies against PPV1 by D6 resulting in decreasing virus titers until PPV1 DNA became undetectable from D28 until D42. In contrast, PCV2-infected pigs had no detectable INF-alpha or IFN-gamma response after PCV2 infection. PCV2-infected pigs had no detectable anti-PCV2 humoral response until D49 and had a sustained high level of PCV2 DNA for the duration of the study. While PPV1-infected pigs were clinically normal, PCV2-infected pigs developed severe clinical illness including fatal systemic porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD) by D28, fatal enteric PCVAD by D56 and chronic PCVAD manifested as decreased weight gain and periods of diarrhea. Microscopically, all three PCV2-infected pigs had lymphoid lesions consistent with PCVAD and associated with low (chronic disease) to high (acute disease) levels of PCV2 antigen. Under the study conditions, there was a lack of early IFN-gamma and INF-alpha activation followed by a delayed and low humoral immune response and persisting viremia with PCV2 infection. In contrast, PPV1-infected pigs had IFN-gamma and INF-alpha activation and an effective immune response to the PPV1 infection.