The objectives of this study were to further understand vertical transmission of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2) and the effect of dam vaccination on PCV-2 viraemia in newborn piglets. Randomly selected sows from each of two breeding herds were designated as non-vaccinated or vaccinated groups. A commercial inactivated PCV-2 vaccine was administered at weaning and 18 days later to half of the sows on each farm. At parturition, colostrum was collected from 70 dams on each farm and postsuckle (Farm 1) or presuckle blood (Farm 2) was collected from five randomly selected piglets per litter.
Colostrum samples had an anti-PCV-2 antibody prevalence of 98.5 per cent (135/137) with significantly (P = 0.0039) higher concentrations in vaccinated dams. Among piglets, 43.9 per cent (301/685) were seropositive for PCV-2 and 11.7 per cent (80/686) were PCV-2 DNA-positive. All the PCV-2 DNA-positive samples were further characterised and 28 were PCV-2a, 28 PCV-2b, and five mixed PCV-2a and PCV-2b infection. The prevalence of PCV-2 DNA in piglets was lower (0.7–22.8 per cent) compared with previous studies (44.8–90 per cent) indicating a change in PCV-2 ecology likely due to wide use of vaccination.
Under the study conditions, dam vaccination reduced PCV-2 viraemia in the offspring with colostrum access.
K. C. O'Neill, M. Hemann, L. G. Giménez-Lirola, P. G. Halbur, and T. Opriessnig. Vaccination of sows reduces the prevalence of PCV-2 viraemia in their piglets under field conditions. Veterinary Record 2012;171:425 doi:10.1136/vr.100660