The viral lymphoproliferative response of pigs vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) has been characterized. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from immunized animals up to 1 year post-immunization (p.i.) showed a time-dependent FMDV-specific response, as assayed by virus-specific cellular blastogenesis. The optimum viral concentration decreased with time (around 20 weeks p.i.), and the response was faster and weaker. Lymphoproliferation appeared to be mainly due to CD4 T cells. The response was heterotypic, being induced by all FMDV serotypes tested (C, A and O) after only two vaccinations with FMDV of serotype C (C-S8). Each individual structural protein assessed (VP1, VP2 and VP3) induced proliferation, with VP3 and VP1 being more effective stimulators. serum neutralization activity and FMDV-specific IgG production were found to be active even at 1 year p.i.


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