Protection of piglets against edema disease by maternal immunization with Stx2e toxoid

  • Oanh T
  • Nguyen V
  • De Greve H
 et al. 
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Edema disease (ED) in piglets is caused by Shiga toxin Stx2e-producing Escherichia coli. We show that a genetically disarmed Stx2e toxoid is a safe antigen that generates antiserum protecting piglets against the Stx2e toxin. Immunization of suckling piglets with the Stx2e toxoid was safe, had no adverse effects on growth of the piglets, and resulted in effective prevention of edema disease clinical symptoms after challenge with the Stx2e toxin. Our data showed that maternal immunity against the Stx2e toxoid can be transmitted from the vaccinated sows to the piglets via the colostrum. Very high levels of Stx2e-specific serum antibodies persisted in these piglets until 1 month postweaning, bridging the critical period in which the weaned piglets are most susceptible to edema infection. Challenge with Stx2e toxin resulted in clinical signs of edema disease and death of all control piglets from nonimmunized sows, whereas none of the piglets from immunized sows developed clinical signs of ED.

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