The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection on the development of the immune response after pseudorabies virus (PRV) vaccination in pigs. Pigs were intranasally inoculated with the European PRRSV strain, Lelystad virus ter Huurne, and were vaccinated intramuscularly with PRV 2 weeks later (LV-PRV group). Control pigs were vaccinated with PRV only (PRV group). Eight weeks after PRV vaccination, pigs from both groups were challenged intranasally with wild-type PRV. We measured the lymphoproliferative, and the cytolytic responses to PRV of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), isolated from blood samples. In addition, serum samples were examined for antibodies against PRV and LV. One week after PRV vaccination, PBMC proliferated abundantly to PRV in both groups. However, in the LV-PRV group the lymphoproliferative response declined after 1 week, whereas, in the PRV group, the lymphoproliferative response was high for 3 weeks and declined thereafter ( P<0.05). After challenge, the lymphoproliferative response was 1 week earlier and was consistently and significantly higher in the PRV group than in the LV-PRV group. The PRV-specific killing was higher at 3 weeks after PRV vaccination and 5 weeks after PRV challenge 19±3 and 24±6%, respectively, in the PRV group, compared to 7±4 and 6±9%, respectively, in the LV-PRV group ( P<0.05). However, later after vaccination and challenge the cytolytic response was identical in both groups. The antibody titre against PRV developed equally in both groups. After challenge, no PRV virus was isolated from both groups. From these results we conclude that, although PRRSV infection did cause changes in the time course of the T-lymphocyte response after PRV vaccination, PRRSV infection did not inhibit the development of vaccine-induced protection after PRV.