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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The effect of infection order of porcine circovirus type 2 and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus on dually infected swine alveolar macrophages

Yi-Chieh Tsai1, Hui-Wen Chang1, Chian-Ren Jeng12, Tsang-Long Lin3, Chun-Ming Lin1, Cho-Hua Wan12* and Victor Fei Pang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, Republic of China

2 Graduate Institute of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, Republic of China

3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907-2065, USA

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:174  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-174

Published: 25 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Concurrent infection with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is known as one of the major causes for porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). Dual infection with PCV2 and PRRSV is consistently to have more severe clinical presentations and pulmonary lesions than infection with PCV2 alone or PRRSV alone. However, it is not known if dual infections with PCV2 and PRRSV in different infection order may lead to different clinical symptoms in the host. To mimic the possible field conditions, swine alveolar macrophages (AMs) were inoculated with PCV2 and PRRSV in vitro simultaneously or with one virus 18 h earlier than the other. The cell viability, cytopathic effects, antigen-containing rates, phagocytotic and microbial killing capabilities, cytokine profiles (IL-8, TNF-α, and IFN-α) and FasL transcripts were determined, analyzed, and compared to prove the hypothesis.

Results

A marked reduction in PRRSV antigen-containing rate, cytopathic effect, and TNF-α expression level was revealed in AMs inoculated with PCV2 and PRRSV simultaneously and in AMs inoculated with PCV2 first then PRRSV 18 h later, but not in AMs inoculated with PRRSV first then PCV2 18 h later. Transient decrease in phagocytosis but constant reduction in microbicidal capability in AMs in the group inoculated with PCV2 alone and constant decrease in phagocytosis and microbicidal capability in AMs in all PRRSV-inoculated groups were noted. The levels of IL-8, TNF-α, IFN-α, and FasL transcripts in AMs in all groups with dual inoculation of PCV2 and PRRSV were significantly increased regardless of the infection orders as compared with infection by PCV2 alone or PRRSV alone.

Conclusions

Swine AMs infected with PCV2 first then PRRSV later or infected with PCV2 and PRRSV simultaneously displayed marked reduction in PRRSV antigen-containing rate, cytopathic effect, and TNF-α expression level. The different inoculation orders of PCV2 and PRRSV in AMs leading to different results in viral antigen positivity, cytopathology, and cytokine profile may explain, at least partially, the underlying mechanism of the enhanced pulmonary lesions in PRDC exerted by dual infection with PCV2 and PRRSV and the variable clinical manifestations of PRDC-affected pigs in the field.

Keywords:
Porcine circovirus type 2; Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; Alveolar macrophages; Porcine respiratory disease complex