Main content area

Effect of vaccination of boars against porcine circovirus type 2 on ejaculate characteristics, serum antibody titers, viremia, and semen virus shedding

Alberti, K.A., Estienne, M.J., Meng, X.J.
Journal of animal science 2011 v.89 no.5 pp. 1581-1587
DNA, Porcine circovirus-2, blood, boars, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, light microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, semen, shedding, sperm concentration, sperm motility, spermatozoa, vaccination, viral load, viral shedding, viremia
The objective of this research was to determine the effect of vaccination against porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) on ejaculate characteristics, PCV2-specific antibody titers in serum, viremia, and viral shedding in the semen of PCV2-positive boars. Before vaccination, all boars were confirmed by PCR to be naturally infected with PCV2. The boars were vaccinated with a commercial killed vaccine against PCV2 (n = 5) or served as controls and received 2 mL of 0.9% saline (n = 5). Semen and blood samples were collected before vaccination at wk 0 and at 7-d intervals thereafter until wk 8. Sperm concentration and characteristics of sperm motility were assessed using a computer-assisted sperm analysis system, and sperm morphology was evaluated using light microscopy after staining. The PCV2 antibody titers were determined in serum using an ELISA, and the genomic copy numbers of PCV2 DNA in serum and semen were determined by real-time PCR. In general, there were no effects of treatment or treatment x week on semen or sperm characteristics (P > 0.10). An effect of treatment x week was detected for serum antibody titers (P < 0.01). Compared with controls, PCV2 antibody titers in vaccinated boars were less (P < 0.01) at wk 7 (1.01 ± 0.05 titer/mL vs. 1.23 ± 0.05 titer/mL) and tended (P = 0.07) to be less at wk 8 (1.05 ± 0.05 titer/mL vs. 1.17 ± 0.05 titer/mL). There were no effects of treatment or treatment x week for serum and semen genomic copy numbers of PCV2 DNA (P > 0.10). There was a tendency (P = 0.09) for an effect of week on serum viral load. It was evident that during this experiment, boars experienced reoccurring PCV2 infection, and the detection of an increased PCV2 DNA load in serum preceded that in semen; the duration of reoccurring infection appeared to be less in vaccinated boars compared with controls. In summary, vaccination against PCV2 can reduce antibody titers when given postinfection and has no dramatic effect on indicators of semen quality. Vaccination against PCV2 in naturally infected boars can also decrease the length of reoccurring infection and decrease the duration of viral shedding in semen.