Comparative evaluation of ELPylated virus-like particle vaccine with two commercial PCV2 vaccines by experimental challenge
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is an economically important swine pathogen and vaccination is the primary tool for the disease control. Previously, we developed a more cost-effective PCV2 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine by using ELPylation technology. In the present study, we compared the ELPylated VLP (ELP-VLP) PCV2 vaccine efficacy with commercial inactivated Yuanlijia vaccine and VLP-based Circoflex vaccine by experimental challenge. After one dose of vaccination with the three different vaccines, ELP-VLP vaccine group showed significantly (p < 0.05) stronger virus neutralizing antibody and interferon-γ responses than the two commercial vaccine groups. All vaccinated pigs showed significant (p < 0.05) improvement in average daily weight gain (ADWG) before challenge. After challenge with PCV2, however, only ELP-VLP-vaccinated pigs showed significant (p < 0.05) improvement in ADWG. All vaccinated pigs showed significant (p < 0.05) reductions in PCV2 loads in the blood, nasal secretion and lymph nodes, ELP-VLP-vaccinated pigs in particular. In addition, vaccination with ELP-VLP vaccine provided stronger protection against pulmonary and lymphoid pathologies than that with the two commercial vaccines. Therefore, ELP-VLP vaccine is more effective to control PCV2 infection than the two commercial vaccines based on clinical, immunological, virological and pathological evaluations.