Effect of Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV-2) maternally derived antibodies on performance and PCV-2 viremia in vaccinated piglets under field conditions
García-Vázquez, F. A.
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Background: Nowadays, the most common presentation of PCV-2 is the subclinical infection in piglets after weaning. The success of PCV-2 vaccination is associated with the control of the clinical disease as well as the improvement of production parameters. In consequence, the objective of the present study was to analyse the effect of PCV-2 maternally derived antibody (MDA) levels on vaccine efficacy in piglets vaccinated at three weeks of age with a commercial PCV-2 subunit vaccine. The study was performed analysing a database with 6112 wean-to-slaughter piglets from 4 different European regions. Results: Results showed that the use of the vaccine was able to decrease the PCV-2 viremia calculated as area under the curve (AUC = 60.29 ± 3.73), increase average daily weight gain (ADWG = 0.65 ± 0.01 kg/day) and reduce mortality (7%) in vaccinated piglets compared to non-vaccinated ones (AUC of 198.27 ± 6.14, 0.62 ± 0.01 kg/day and 11% respectively). The overall difference of ADWG between both groups was close to 30 g per day (p < 0.05), also when they were split for low and high levels of MDA titres. Moreover, the animals with the highest ADWG were observed in the group of piglets vaccinated with high or extremely high antibody titres (0.66 and 0.65 kg/day respectively). Considering only animals with extremely high antibody titres, both study groups performed similar, however there was a numerical difference of 10 g/day in favour of vaccinated piglets. Likewise, lack of correlation between ADWG and MDA was observed suggesting that no maternal antibody interference was present with the tested vaccine because the vaccinated animals grew faster compared to unvaccinated control animals, regardless of the level of maternal antibodies present at the time of vaccination. Conclusions: The results of the present study demonstrated that the MDA against PCV-2 transferred through the colostrum intake has a protective effect against this viral infection. The vaccine used in the present study (Ingelvac CircoFLEX®) was effective when applied at three weeks of age and was not affected by the level of MDA at the time of vaccination.