Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is essential but not sufficient for postweaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) occurrence in pigs. The outcome of PCV2 infection depends on the specific immune responses that are developing during the infection. Diseased pigs are immunosupressed and unable to mount effective immune responses to clear the virus from circulation. In the final stage, PMWS-affected pigs suffer from extensive lymphoid lesions and altered cytokine expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and lymphoid organs. PCV2 infection can also be asymptomatic, demonstrating that not every infection will guarantee the occurrence of severe immunopathological disturbances. Asymptomatic animals have higher virus specific and neutralising antibody titres than PMWS-affected animals. Recent results have pointed out that the mechanisms by which PCV2 can affect the immune responses involve the induction of IL-10, virus accumulation into and modulation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and the role of viral DNA in regulation of immune cell functions. Fourteen years after the first description of PMWS in Canada, efficient commercial vaccines against PCV2 are available. The vaccine success is based on activated humoral and cellular immune responses against PCV2. This review focuses on the recent research on immunological aspects during PCV2 infections and summarizes what is currently known about the vaccine-induced immunity. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas