Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) vaccination represents an important measure to cope with PCV2 infection; however, data regarding the modulation of the immune cell compartment are still limited, especially under field conditions. This study is aimed at investigating the features of the cellular immune response in conventional piglets induced by vaccination using a capsid (Cap) protein-based PCV2 vaccine compared to unvaccinated animals when exposed to PCV2 natural infection. Immune reactivity was evaluated by quantifying peripheral cell subsets involved in the anti-viral response and characterizing the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) secreting cell (SC) responsiveness both in vivo and upon in vitro whole PCV2 recall. The vaccination triggered an early and intense IFN-γ secreting cell response and induced the activation of peripheral lymphocytes. The early increase of IFN-γ SC frequencies resulted in a remarkable and transient tendency to increased IFN-γ productivity in vaccinated pigs. In vaccinated animals, soon before the onset of infection occurring 15-16 weeks post-vaccination, the recalled PCV2-specific immune response was characterized by moderate PCV2-specific IFN- γ secreting cell frequencies and augmented productivity together with reactive CD4+CD8+ memory T cells. Conversely, upon infection, unvaccinated animals showed very high frequencies of IFN-γ secreting cells and a tendency to lower productivity, which paralleled with effector CD4–CD8+ cytotoxic cell responsiveness. The study shows that PCV2 vaccination induces a long-lasting immunity sustained by memory T cells and IFN-γ secreting cells that potentially played a role in preventing the onset of infection; the extent and duration of this reactivity can be an important feature for evaluating the protective immunity induced by vaccination.
Memory T cell proliferative responses and IFN-gamma productivity sustain long-lasting efficacy of a Cap-based PCV2 vaccine upon PCV2 natural infection and associated disease / L. Ferrari; P. Borghetti; E. De Angelis; P. Martelli. - In: VETERINARY RESEARCH. - ISSN 0928-4249. - 45:1(2014), p. 44. [10.1186/1297-9716-45-44]