Protection against transplacental transmission of moderately virulent classical swine fever virus using live marker vaccine “CP7_E2alf”
Classical swine fever (CSF) remains as one of the most important infectious diseases of swine. While prophylactic vaccination is usually prohibited in free countries with industrialized pig production, emergency vaccination is still foreseen. In this context, marker vaccines are preferred as they can reduce the impact on trade. The live-attenuated Suvaxyn® CSF Marker vaccine by Zoetis (based on pestivirus chimera “CP7_E2alf”), was recently licensed by the European Medicines Agency. Its efficacy for the individual animal had been shown in prior studies, but questions remained regarding protection against transplacental transmission. To answer this question, a trial with eight pregnant sows and their offspring was performed as prescribed by the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. Six of the sows were intramuscularly vaccinated on day 44 of gestation, while the other two remained as unvaccinated controls. All sows were challenged with the moderately virulent CSFV strain ”Roesrath” and euthanized shortly before the calculated farrowing date. Sows and piglets were grossly examined and necropsied. Organs (spleen, tonsil, lymph node, and kidney), EDTA-blood and serum were collected from all animals. All samples were tested for antibodies against CSFV glycoproteins E2 and Erns as well as CSFV (virus, antigen and genome). It could be demonstrated that the vaccine complies with all requirements, i.e. no virus was found in the blood of vaccinated sows and their fetuses, and no antibodies were found in the serum of the fetuses from the vaccinated sows. All controls were valid. Thus, it was demonstrated that a single dose vaccination in the sows efficiently protected the offspring against transplacental infection with a moderately virulent CSFV strain.
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