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Sequential Changes in the Humoral Immune Response of Pigs to Pseudorabies Virus after Vaccination, Exposure to Virulent Virus, and Reactivation of Latent Virus

Mengeling, William L., Pirtle, Eugene C.
Suid herpesvirus 1, antibodies, blood serum, dexamethasone, glycoproteins, humoral immunity, live vaccines, molecular weight, neutralization tests, nose, swine, vaccination, viral proteins, virulence, viruses
Sequential changes in the humoral immune response of pigs to pseudorabies virus (PRV) after each of several exposures to the virus were evaluated by determining virus neutralization (VN) and radioimmunoprecipitation (RIP) activities of sera collected at selected intervals. Pigs were vaccinated intramuscularly with live attenuated virus (6 pigs), inactivated attenuated virus (6 pigs), or inactivated virulent virus (6 pigs). All pigs were challenged oronasally with virulent virus 3 weeks later and 12 (4 pigs of each vaccine group) were subsequently treated with dexamethasone in an attempt to reactivate latent virus. The relatively low serum titers of VN antibody that were raised by vaccination (titers ranged from 2 to 32) increased markedly (at least 16-fold) for all pigs after exposure to virulent virus. After dexamethasone treatment, the VN titers of 2 pigs increased 16-fold, whereas those of the other 10 dexamethasone-treated pigs and the 6 nontreated pigs either remained the same or increased only minimally (i.e., no more than 2-fold). The results of RIP using ³⁵S-methionine-labeled viral proteins were initially similar to those of VN in that the low levels of serum RIP activity detected after vaccination increased markedly after subsequent exposure to virulent virus. In contrast to VN, however, most pigs (11 of 12) treated with dexamethasone had a clear increase in serum RIP activity. The increase was particularly striking for viral proteins of relatively low (<46K) molecular weight. Precipitating activity for ¹⁴C-glucosamine-labeled viral glycoproteins was not detected until after pigs were exposed to virulent virus. The increase in RIP activity detected after dexamethasone treatment was likely due to an additional antigenic stimulus associated with virus reactivation. However, virus was isolated from nasal swabs of only 4 of the 12 treated pigs. None of the results appeared to be affected appreciably by the type of vaccine used for initial immunization.