Immuno-stimulatory class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) epitopes of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) are important for vaccine development. In this study we first determined the expression frequency of swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) class I alleles in commercial pigs in the United States. The SLA genotyping result allowed us to predict potential CTL epitopes from a contemporary strain of PRRSV (RFLP 1-7-4) by using bioinformatic tools. The predicted epitopes were then evaluated in an ex vivo stimulation assay with peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from pigs experimentally-infected with PRRSV. Using flow-cytometry analysis, we identified a number of immuno-stimulatory CTL epitopes, including two peptides from GP3 and two from Nsp9 that significantly improved both degranulation marker CD107a and IFN-γ production in cytotoxic CD4+CD8+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and γδ T cells, and two peptides that inhibited IFN-γ production. These CTL epitopes will aid future vaccine development against PRRSV.
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)
- Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL)
- Swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) class I
- Immono-stimulatory CTL epitopes