Limited impact of influenza A virus vaccination of piglets in an enzootic infected sow herd

Pia Ryt-Hansen*, Inge Larsen, Charlotte Sonne Kristensen, Jesper Schak Krog, Lars Erik Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Recent studies have questioned the effect of maternal derived antibodies (MDAs) to protect piglets against infection with influenza A virus (IAV). The lack of protection against IAV infections provided by MDAs has encouraged alternative vaccination strategies targeting young piglets in an attempt to stimulate an early antibody response. There is a lack of studies documenting the efficacy of piglet vaccination. In the present study, we monitored a group of vaccinated and non-vaccinated piglets in a Danish sow herd that initiated piglet vaccination with ¼ dose of an inactivated swine influenza vaccine at the time of castration (day 3–4). A total of 160 piglets from 11 sows were included and either vaccinated with 0.5 mL inactivated swine influenza vaccine or sham-vaccinated. From week 0 until week 6, all included piglets were clinically examined and nasal swapped once per week and weighed at weeks 0, 3 and 6. Blood samples were collected from sows at week 0 and from piglets at week 3. Vaccination of piglets had limited effect on clinical signs, body weight, antibody development and viral shedding, within the first 6 weeks of life. At least 50% of all pigs of each treatment group tested positive for IAV at week 2, and very early onset of IAV shedding was observed. In total, 18 pigs were IAV positive in nasal swabs for more than one consecutive sampling time indicating prolonged shedding and 14 pigs were IAV positive with negative samplings in between indicating re-infection with the same IAV strain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Pages (from-to)47-56
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Influenza a virus
  • Swine influenza
  • Piglet vaccination
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Recurrent shedding
  • Reinfection


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