The capacity of a TK-negative (TK -) and gI/gE-negative (gI/gE -) pseudorabies virus (PRV) mutant to protect pigs against Aujeszky's disease carried out by experimental infection with a virulent PRV strain, was tested. There were three groups, each of four susceptible pigs which were inoculated twice by two different schedules. Group 1 received the modified virus by the intradermal (first inoculation)-intramuscular (second inoculation) routes; group 2 was treated by the intranasal (first inoculation)-intramuscular (second inoculation) routes. The third group was left untreated as the control. All of the pigs were challenged intranasally with a virulent PRV strain and they were subsequently injected with dexamethasone. Two pigs in each group were necropsied on days 5 and 15 after dexamethasone inoculation. The challenge exposure resulted in mild clinical signs, increase in growth and a shorter period of virus shedding in vaccinated pigs, whereas the control group showed severe signs of Aujeszky's disease. No difference in the titre of the virulent virus which was excreted by pigs of all three groups, was observed and all animals seroconverted. Both the mutant strain and the wild-type virus established a latent infection although only the latter was reactivated and shed. Slight lesions were observed in target tissues of the vaccinated animals and no significant differences were detected between the two inoculation schedules.
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