Rescue of a porcine anellovirus (torque teno sus virus 2) from cloned genomic DNA in pigs

Yao-Wei Huang, Abby R Patterson, Tanja Opriessnig, Barbara A Dryman, Andreas Gallei, Kylie K Harrall, Eric M Vaughn, Michael B Roof, Xiang-Jin Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anelloviruses are a group of single-stranded circular DNA viruses infecting humans and other animal species. Animal models combined with reverse genetic systems of anellovirus have not been developed. We report here the construction and initial characterization of full-length DNA clones of a porcine anellovirus, torque teno sus virus 2 (TTSuV2), in vitro and in vivo. We first demonstrated that five cell lines, including PK-15 cells, are free of TTSuV1 or TTSuV2 contamination, as determined by a real-time PCR and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using anti-TTSuV antibodies. Recombinant plasmids harboring monomeric or tandem-dimerized genomic DNA of TTSuV2 from the United States and Germany were constructed. Circular TTSuV2 genomic DNA with or without introduced genetic markers and tandem-dimerized TTSuV2 plasmids were transfected into PK-15 cells, respectively. Splicing of viral mRNAs was identified in transfected cells. Expression of TTSuV2-specific open reading frame 1 (ORF1) in cell nuclei, especially in nucleoli, was detected by IFA. However, evidence of productive TTSuV2 infection was not observed in 12 different cell lines transfected with the TTSuV2 DNA clones. Transfection with circular DNA from a TTSuV2 deletion mutant did not produce ORF1 protein, suggesting that the observed ORF1 expression is driven by TTSuV2 DNA replication in cells. Pigs inoculated with either the tandem-dimerized clones or circular genomic DNA of U.S. TTSuV2 developed viremia, and the introduced genetic markers were retained in viral DNA recovered from the sera of infected pigs. The availability of an infectious DNA clone of TTSuV2 will facilitate future study of porcine anellovirus pathogenesis and biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6042-54
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Anellovirus
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genome, Viral
  • Germany
  • Microbial Viability
  • Plasmids
  • Reverse Genetics
  • Swine
  • Transfection
  • United States


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