Lactogenic immunity and milk antibody isotypes to transmissible gastroenteritis virus in sows exposed to porcine respiratory coronavirus during pregnancy

Ignacio Lanza From the Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana, E-24071 León, Spain (Lanza), and the Food Animal Health Research Program, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691 (Shoup, Saif).

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David I. Shoup From the Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana, E-24071 León, Spain (Lanza), and the Food Animal Health Research Program, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691 (Shoup, Saif).

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Linda J. Saif From the Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana, E-24071 León, Spain (Lanza), and the Food Animal Health Research Program, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691 (Shoup, Saif).

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Abstract

Passive protection provided by sows inoculated with the virulent Miller strain of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (tgev), or the isu-1 strain of porcine respiratory coronavirus (prcv), or both was evaluated in nursing pigs challenge exposed with virulent tgev. Four sows (group B) were inoculated with prcv oro- nasally twice at 4 and 2 weeks before parturition; 1 sow (group C) was inoculated similarly, but in 2 subsequent pregnancies; and 2 sows (group D) were oronasally primed with prcv at 4 weeks before parturition, and 2 weeks later were administered a booster inoculation of virulent tgev. Two additional sows (group E) remained uninoculated and served as seronegative controls, and 1 sow (group A) that had been naturally infected with tgev served as a seropositive control. The degree of passive immunity transferred by these sows to their litters was assessed by challenge exposing the pigs of sows in groups BE (only the second litter of group C) with virulent tgev at 3 to 5 days of age. After challenge exposure, clinical signs of infection and mortality were noted and fecal and nasal shedding of virus was assessed by EUSA. The IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody titers to tgev were quantified in colostrum and milk of the sows by use of an isotype-specific monoclonal antibody-capture ELISA, using biotinylated monoclonal antibodies against each porcine isotype as detecting reagents. A plaque-reduction assay was used to quantify neutralizing antibody titers in serum, colostrum, milk, and fractionated whey (IgG and IgA/ IgM). In the sow naturally infected with tgev (group A), there was a pronounced decrease in IgG antibody titers to tgev in the transition from colostrum to milk, and IgA tgev antibodies became predominant, with high titers maintained throughout lactation. The 4 group-B sows partially protected their pigs after tgev challenge exposure; mean mortality was 67%, compared with 100% in pigs suckling the 2 tgev seronegative control sows (group-E fitters). Although IgA tgev antibodies were detected in colostrum and milk of group-B sows, IgG tgev antibodies were the most abundant. The sow of group C had a marked increase in IgA tgev antibody titers in colostrum and milk after reinoculation with prcv during the second pregnancy, before tgev challenge exposure of the fitter. Its pigs were passively protected to a high degree after tgev challenge exposure (27% litter mortality). The sows in group D, primed with prcv and boosted with tgev, provided the best passive protection after tgev challenge exposure of their pigs. Not only fitter mortality (27%) but also morbidity was reduced, compared with those factors for the other challenge- exposed fitters, and the sows did not become ill. In these swine, the high degree of passive protection observed could not be associated with the presence of only IgA tgev antibodies in the milk, but high IgM tgev antibody titers also were detected in colostrum and milk. Results of this study suggest that prcv- inoculated sows are able to partially protect their pigs from tgev challenge exposure and, on the basis of preliminary data, the degree of protection may increase after multiple prcv exposures or after secondary exposure to tgev during pregnancy. Also, an IgA respiratory tract-mammary gland link may exist as evident by the low titer of IgA tgev antibodies in the milk of prcv-inoculated sows, but may not be as efficient in inducing lactogenic IgA immunity as is the gastrointestinal tract-mammary gland link.

Abstract

Passive protection provided by sows inoculated with the virulent Miller strain of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (tgev), or the isu-1 strain of porcine respiratory coronavirus (prcv), or both was evaluated in nursing pigs challenge exposed with virulent tgev. Four sows (group B) were inoculated with prcv oro- nasally twice at 4 and 2 weeks before parturition; 1 sow (group C) was inoculated similarly, but in 2 subsequent pregnancies; and 2 sows (group D) were oronasally primed with prcv at 4 weeks before parturition, and 2 weeks later were administered a booster inoculation of virulent tgev. Two additional sows (group E) remained uninoculated and served as seronegative controls, and 1 sow (group A) that had been naturally infected with tgev served as a seropositive control. The degree of passive immunity transferred by these sows to their litters was assessed by challenge exposing the pigs of sows in groups BE (only the second litter of group C) with virulent tgev at 3 to 5 days of age. After challenge exposure, clinical signs of infection and mortality were noted and fecal and nasal shedding of virus was assessed by EUSA. The IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody titers to tgev were quantified in colostrum and milk of the sows by use of an isotype-specific monoclonal antibody-capture ELISA, using biotinylated monoclonal antibodies against each porcine isotype as detecting reagents. A plaque-reduction assay was used to quantify neutralizing antibody titers in serum, colostrum, milk, and fractionated whey (IgG and IgA/ IgM). In the sow naturally infected with tgev (group A), there was a pronounced decrease in IgG antibody titers to tgev in the transition from colostrum to milk, and IgA tgev antibodies became predominant, with high titers maintained throughout lactation. The 4 group-B sows partially protected their pigs after tgev challenge exposure; mean mortality was 67%, compared with 100% in pigs suckling the 2 tgev seronegative control sows (group-E fitters). Although IgA tgev antibodies were detected in colostrum and milk of group-B sows, IgG tgev antibodies were the most abundant. The sow of group C had a marked increase in IgA tgev antibody titers in colostrum and milk after reinoculation with prcv during the second pregnancy, before tgev challenge exposure of the fitter. Its pigs were passively protected to a high degree after tgev challenge exposure (27% litter mortality). The sows in group D, primed with prcv and boosted with tgev, provided the best passive protection after tgev challenge exposure of their pigs. Not only fitter mortality (27%) but also morbidity was reduced, compared with those factors for the other challenge- exposed fitters, and the sows did not become ill. In these swine, the high degree of passive protection observed could not be associated with the presence of only IgA tgev antibodies in the milk, but high IgM tgev antibody titers also were detected in colostrum and milk. Results of this study suggest that prcv- inoculated sows are able to partially protect their pigs from tgev challenge exposure and, on the basis of preliminary data, the degree of protection may increase after multiple prcv exposures or after secondary exposure to tgev during pregnancy. Also, an IgA respiratory tract-mammary gland link may exist as evident by the low titer of IgA tgev antibodies in the milk of prcv-inoculated sows, but may not be as efficient in inducing lactogenic IgA immunity as is the gastrointestinal tract-mammary gland link.

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