Submitted to: Diseases of Swine
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Probably no area of veterinary medicine has seen a greater explosion in knowledge then the immune system and its implications in disease and vaccination. In this chapter on the Swine Immune System for the 10th Edition of Diseases of Swine we expand on the information provided in past editions by including figures for key concepts important for swine immunity and vaccine response. We follow the immune response from the point where microorganisms breech the various barriers and engage the immune system. The first line of defense is the innate immune response with phagocytic cells and production of various cytokines and proteins that not only provide anti-microbial production but also recruit cells through the inflammatory process and activate the acquired immune response. The acquired immune response with its myriad of B-cells, T-cells, cytokines, and antibodies then provides the pathogen specific memory with continued duration to protect the pig from subsequent infections with the same pathogen. We then review the importance of the mucosal immune system in regulating effective local immune responses. The chapter discusses with the importance of the immune system in the fetus and neonate, its role in responding to stress, issues of immunosuppression, and the effect of nutrition on immunity. The chapter ends with the importance of understanding immunity for effective vaccine design. This chapter will be used by veterinarians and scientific researchers as they address complex issues affecting swine health and disease.