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PCV2 Infection in Vaccinated Conventional Gilts Inseminated with PCV2b-Spiked Semen
Carlo Bianco1,*, Giuseppe Sarli1, Serena Panarese1, Maria Laura Bacci1, Giovanna Galeati1, Michele Dottori2, Paolo Bonilauri2, Davide Lelli3, Giorgio Leotti4, Thaïs Vila5, François Joisel5 and Fabio Ostanello1
1Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064, Ozzano Emilia, Bologna, Italy; 2Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia-Romagna (IZSLER) – Section of Reggio Emilia, Via Pitagora 2, 42100, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 3Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia-Romagna (IZSLER), Via A. Bianchi 9, 25124, Brescia, Italy; 4Merial Italia Spa, Strada 6, Palazzo E/5, 20090 Milanofiori, Assago, Milan, Italy; 5Merial SAS, 29 avenue Tony Garnier, 69007, Lyon, France
*Corresponding author:


The present trial investigated the effect of PCV2 vaccination on viremia, virus shedding and viral load in maternal tissues and foetuses of conventional gilts inseminated with PCV2b-spiked semen. Twelve gilts were randomly divided into two groups of six animals each (vaccinated infected, VI; non-vaccinated infected, NVI). Estrus synchronization was followed by artificial insemination (AI) with a single PCV2 negative semen dose supplemented with 0.2 mL of a PCV2b suspension containing 104.4 TCID50/50 μL (total viral dose: 105 TCID50). Vaginal, nasal and faecal swabs, and blood samples were collected weekly from two days before artificial insemination  till the end of the experimental period (55 days post AI; DPAI) and tested by real-time PCR (qPCR) for PCV2; sera were tested for anti-PCV2 antibodies. During necropsy foetal and maternal tissues were collected for qPCR and histopathology. In each of the VI and NVI groups three out of the six gilts were pregnant at 29 DPAI. The VI group showed a significantly lower proportion of PCR-positive swabs: 24.6% VI vs 71.3% NVI. PCV2 clearance was demonstrated by qPCR in lymphoid tissue during the trial in the VI group. Only one foetus was PCV2-positive (in the NVI group) and three amniotic fluids of the NVI group. PCV2 was found in a significantly lower proportion of the placenta of foetuses in the VI group (39%) than the NVI group (77%). The PCV2 vaccine seems to play an active role in reducing virus shedding, tissue viral load and foeto-placental infection.

Key words: Infection, Porcine circovirus type 2, Semen, Swine, Vaccine


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)