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Maternally-derived antibodies do not inhibit swine influenza virus replication in piglets but decrease excreted virus infectivity and impair post-infectious immune responses

Deblanc, Céline, Hervé, Séverine, Gorin, Stéphane, Cador, Charlie, Andraud, Mathieu, Quéguiner, Stéphane, Barbier, Nicolas, Paboeuf, Frédéric, Rose, Nicolas, Simon, Gaëlle
Veterinary microbiology 2018 v.216 pp. 142-152
Influenza A virus, T-lymphocytes, antibodies, excretion, genome, humoral immunity, immune response, neutralization, passive immunity, pathogenicity, piglets, sows, swine influenza, viral shedding, virion, virus replication, viruses
Maternally-derived antibodies (MDA) reduce piglet susceptibility to swine influenza A virus, but interfere with post-infectious immune responses, raising questions about protection after waning of passive immunity. We therefore analysed the impact of different levels of residual MDA on virus excretion and immune responses in piglets born to vaccinated sows (MDA+) and infected with H1N1 at 5, 7 or 11 weeks of age, in comparison to piglets born to unvaccinated sows (MDA-). Subsequent protection against a second homologous infection occurring 4 weeks after the primo-infection was also investigated. MDA- pigs showed clinical signs, shed the virus, and developed specific immune responses despite some age-dependent differences: 7-week-old pigs were less affected clinically, showed a 2-day delayed excretion peak and excreted less virus than younger pigs. In MDA+ animals, clinical signs increased together with the decrease of MDA levels related to the age at infection-time. Virus shedding was not prevented and genome quantification profiles were similar to those obtained in MDA- piglets. However, viral particles excreted by 5-week-old MDA+ piglets appeared to be less infectious than those shed by MDA- piglets at the same age. Humoral response was affected by MDA as illustrated by the absence of HI and neutralizing response regardless the infection age, but anti-NP/M responses were less affected. Proliferative T cell responses were slightly delayed by high MDA levels. Nevertheless, MDA+ animals were all protected from a second infection, like MDA- piglets. In conclusion, responses of pigs to H1N1 were affected by both the physiological development of animals at infection and the MDA level.