Stage of Gestation at Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Infection of Pregnant Swine Impacts Maternal Immunity and Lactogenic Immune Protection of Neonatal Suckling Piglets.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

During pregnancy, the maternal immune response changes dramatically over the course of gestation. This has implications for generation of lactogenic immunity and subsequent protection in suckling neonates against enteric viral infections. For example, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is an alphacoronavirus that causes acute diarrhea in neonatal piglets. Due to the high virulence of PEDV and the naïve, immature immune system of neonatal suckling piglets, passive lactogenic immunity to PEDV induced during pregnancy, via the gut-mammary gland (MG)-secretory IgA (sIgA) axis, is critical for piglet protection. However, the anti-PEDV immune response during pregnancy and stage of gestation required to optimally stimulate the gut-MG-sIgA axis is undefined. We hypothesize that there is a gestational window in which non-lethal PEDV infection of pregnant gilts influences maximum lymphocyte mucosal trafficking to the MG, resulting in optimal passive lactogenic protection in suckling piglets. To understand how the stages of gestation affect maternal immune responses to PEDV, three groups of gilts were orally infected with PEDV in the first, second or third trimester. Control (mock) gilts were inoculated with medium in the third trimester. To determine if lactogenic immunity correlated with protection, all piglets were PEDV-challenged at 3-5 days postpartum. PEDV infection of gilts at different stages of gestation significantly affected multiple maternal systemic immune parameters prepartum, including cytokines, B cells, PEDV antibodies (Abs), and PEDV antibody secreting cells (ASCs). Pregnant second trimester gilts had significantly higher levels of circulating PEDV IgA and IgG Abs and ASCs and PEDV virus neutralizing (VN) Abs post PEDV infection. Coinciding with the significantly higher PEDV Ab responses in second trimester gilts, the survival rate of their PEDV-challenged piglets was 100%, compared with 87.2, 55.9, and 5.7% for first, third, and mock litters, respectively. Additionally, piglet survival positively correlated with PEDV IgA Abs and ASCs and VN Abs in milk and PEDV IgA and IgG Abs in piglet serum. Our findings have implications for gestational timing of oral attenuated PEDV maternal vaccines, whereby PEDV intestinal infection in the second trimester optimally stimulated the gut-MG-sIgA axis resulting in 100% lactogenic immune protection in suckling piglets.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Langel, SN; Paim, FC; Alhamo, MA; Buckley, A; Van Geelen, A; Lager, KM; Vlasova, AN; Saif, LJ

Published Date

  • 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 /

Start / End Page

  • 727 -

PubMed ID

  • 31068924

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6491507

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1664-3224

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00727


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland