Prophylactic vaccination using live attenuated classical swine fever (CSF) vaccines has been a very effective method to control the disease in endemic regions and during outbreaks in previously disease-free areas. These vaccines confer effective protection against the disease at early times post-vaccination although the mechanisms mediating the protection are poorly characterized. Here we present the events occurring after the administration of our in-house developed live attenuated marker vaccine, FlagT4Gv. We previously reported that FlagT4Gv intramuscular (IM) administered conferred effective protection against intranasal challenge with virulent CSFV (BICv) as early as 7 days post-vaccination. Here we report that FlagT4Gv is able to induce protection against disease as early as three days post-vaccination. Immunohistochemical testing of tissues from FlagT4Gv-inoculated animals showed that tonsils were colonized by the vaccine virus by day 3 post-inoculation. There was a complete absence of BICv in tonsils of FlagT4Gv-inoculated animals which had been intranasal (IN) challenged with BICv 3 days after FlagT4Gv infection, confirming that FlagT4Gv inoculation confers sterile immunity. Analysis of systemic levels of 19 different cytokines in vaccinated animals demonstrated an increase of IFN-a three days after FlagT4Gv inoculation compared with mock infected controls.
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