The distribution of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) in plasma, monocytes, T and B lymphocytes in peripheral blood was monitored during experimentally induced acute classical swine fever infection in piglets. Six piglets were infected with 10(3.8) TCID50 of virus and blood samples taken up to 18 days post-inoculation (p.i.). Infectious virus was detected in monocytes, T and B lymphocytes to similar titres in five of the six infected piglets. Infectious virus was detected earlier in plasma than in any of the mononuclear cell subpopulations. No significant difference was observed in the period of time in which virus could be isolated from the three cell subpopulations. While a progressive lymphopenia developed, a marked B cell depletion was observed. However, B cells were apparently replaced by non-IgM-bearing mononuclear cells, as the proportion 'total lymphocyte/total leucocytes' remained unaltered throughout the experiment. Virus titres in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells showed a tendency to increase as the disease progressed to its outcome.
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