BMC veterinary research 2017 01 0713(1) 15 doi 10.1186/s12917-016-0937-8
Streptococcus suis (S. suis) causes arthritis, meningitis, septicemia, and sudden death in pigs and is also an zoonotic agent for humans. The present study demonstrated that immunization with recombinant Sao-L (surface antigen one-L, rSao-L) protein from a strain of S. suis serotype 2 in pigs was able to increase cross-serotype protection against S. suis serotype 1 and 2 challenge. Since weaning piglets are more susceptible to S. suis infections due to the stresses associated with weaning, prepartum immunization in sows may convey passive immunity to piglets and provide protection.
Pregnant sows were immunized with a vaccine containing inactivated S. suis serotype 2 plus rSao as the antigens. Blood samples were collected from their piglets after birth for analysis of antigen-specific antibody titers and levels of various cytokines. Results demonstrated that the titers of S. suis and rSao-specific antibodies were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the vaccinated piglets in comparison with that of piglets in the control group. The serum levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, and IL-12 were significantly (p < 0.05) increased in piglets born from vaccinated sows when compared to piglets from unvaccinated sows. In addition, piglets were challenged by heterologous and homologous S. suis. All piglets from unvaccinated sows developed severe symptoms of bacteremia, fever, anorexia, depression, and arthritis. On the other hand, piglets from vaccinated sows had significantly (p < 0.05) reduced clinical symptoms and lesion score (by 75 and 81%). CONCLUSIONS
Our results revealed that immunizing pregnant sows with the vaccine containing inactivated S. suis bacterin plus rSao as the antigens is able to enhance passive immunity against heterologous and homologous S. suis challenge in their piglets.