Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is endemic in most parts of Asia, where genotype I and II strains of diverse virulence may coexist. This study evaluated the outcome of infection with a highly virulent Asian genotype II PRRSV isolate in piglets vaccinated with a genotype I vaccine. Twenty-one 3-week-old piglets were divided in three groups: Pigs in group V (n=8) were vaccinated with an attenuated genotype I commercial PRRSV vaccine, while pigs in group U (n=8) and a control group (group C; n=5) were unvaccinated; 6 weeks later, pigs in groups V and U were challenged intranasally with a highly virulent strain of genotype II PRRSV (1×10(5) 50% tissue culture infectious doses/mL), while pigs in group C received a placebo. Over a period of 21 days after challenge, vaccinated pigs had significantly lower mortality (0/8 versus 2/8), fewer days of fever, a lower frequency of catarrhal bronchopneumonia, higher weight gains (13.4 versus 6.6 kg) and lower levels of viraemia compared to unvaccinated challenged pigs. Immunisation with a genotype I attenuated PRRSV vaccine provided partial protection against challenge with a highly virulent genotype II strain.
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