Microbiology and immunology

Protective immunity conferred by porcine circovirus 2 ORF2-based DNA vaccine in mice.

PMID 24845706


Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) associated with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) has caused the swine industry significant health challenges and economic damage. Although inactivated and subunit vaccines against PMWS have been used widely, so far no DNA vaccine is available. In this study, with the aim of exploring a new route for developing a vaccine against PCV2, the immunogenicity of a DNA vaccine was evaluated in mice. The pEGFP-N1 vector was used to construct a PCV2 Cap gene recombinant vaccine. To assess the immunogenicity of pEGFP-Cap, 80 BALB/c mice were immunized three times at 2 weekly intervals with pEGFP-Cap, LG-strain vaccine, pEGFP-N1 vector or PBS and then challenged with PCV2. IgG and cytokines were assessed by indirect ELISA and ELISA, respectively. Specimens stained with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) techniques were examined histopathologically. It was found that vaccination of the mice with the pEGFP-Cap induced solid protection against PCV2 infection through induction of highly specific serum IgG antibodies and cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-10), and a small PCV2 viral load. The mice treated with the pEGFP-Cap and LG-strain developed no histopathologically detectable lesions (HE stain) and IHC techniques revealed only a few positive cells. Thus, this study demonstrated that recombinant pEGFP-Cap substantially alleviates PCV2 infection in mice and provides evidence that a DNA vaccine could be an alternative to PCV2 vaccines against PMWS.