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Anamnestic Immune Response of Pigs to Pseudorabies Virus: Latent Virus Reactivation versus Direct Oronasal and Parenteral Exposure to Virus

Mengeling, W. L.
Suid alphaherpesvirus 1, carrier state, proteins, neutralization tests, molecular weight, direct contact, Aujeszky disease, viruses, neutralizing antibodies, immune response, dexamethasone, virulence, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), swine
The humoral antibody response of pseudorabies-immune pigs to reactivation of latent pseudorabies virus (PRV) was compared with the response following direct exposure to virulent PRV. Nine pigs that had been vaccinated for pseudorabies and later exposed to virulent virus to establish latent infection were given dexamethasone to reactivate latent virus (3 pigs), were exposed oronasally and parenterally to virulent virus (3 pigs), or were kept as nontreated controls (3 pigs). Sera collected from all 9 pigs just before and 3 weeks after treatment were tested by virus neutralization and radioimmunoprecipitation. The 3 pigs exposed directly to virulent virus and 2 of the 3 pigs given dexamethasone had a 4-fold or greater increase in neutralizing antibody titer. All 6 of these pigs had an increase in precipitating antibody activity. Precipitation patterns changed both quantitatively and qualitatively, especially for virus-coded proteins of relatively low molecular weight (<46 K). There were some differences in the precipitation patterns associated with sera of individual pigs. However, there was no clear indication of any difference between the 2 treatment groups and therefore no evidence that reactivation of latent virus is associated with any unique immunologic response that could be detected by radioimmunoprecipitation and used diagnostically. Clinical signs were limited to the 3 pigs that were exposed oronasally and parenterally to virulent virus even though the dexamethasone-treated pigs shed more virus for much longer than did those exposed directly to virus.