Reducing the number of influenza A virus (IAV) infected pigs at weaning is critical to minimize IAV spread to other farms. Sow vaccination is a common measure to reduce influenza levels at weaning. However, the impact of maternally-derived antibodies on IAV infection dynamics in growing pigs is poorly understood. We evaluated the effect of maternally-derived antibodies at weaning on IAV prevalence at weaning, time of influenza infection, number of weeks that pigs tested IAV positive, and estimated quantity of IAV in nursery pigs. We evaluated 301 pigs within 10 cohorts for their influenza serological (seroprevalence estimated by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test) and virological (prevalence) status. Nasal swabs were collected weekly and pigs were bled 3 times throughout the nursery period.
There was significant variability in influenza seroprevalence, HI titers and influenza prevalence after weaning. Increase in influenza seroprevalence at weaning was associated with low influenza prevalence at weaning and delayed time to IAV infection throughout the nursery. Piglets with IAV HI titers of 40 or higher at weaning were also less likely to test IAV positive at weaning, took longer to become infected, tested IAV RT-PCR positive for fewer weeks, and had higher IAV RT-PCR cycle threshold values compared to piglets with HI titers less than 40.
Our findings suggest that sow vaccination or infection status that results in high levels of IAV strain-specific maternally-derived antibodies may help to reduce IAV circulation in both suckling and nursery pigs.
Chamba Pardo FO, Wayne S, Culhane MR, Perez A, Allerson M, Torremorell M (2019) Effect of strain-specific maternally-derived antibodies on influenza A virus infection dynamics in nursery pigs. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210700. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210700