Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is known to antagonize the innate immune response. An atypical PRRSV strain A2MC2 is capable of inducing synthesis of type I interferons (IFNs) in cultured cells. Here, we show that the middle half of the A2MC2 genome is needed for triggering the IFN synthesis. First, a cDNA infectious clone of this atypical strain was constructed as a DNA-launched version. Virus recovery was achieved from the infectious clone and the recovered virus, rA2MC2, was characterized. The rA2MC2 retained the feature of interferon induction in cultured cells. Infection of pigs with the rA2MC2 virus caused viremia similar to that of the wild type virus. Chimeric infectious clones were constructed by swapping genomic fragments with a cDNA clone of a moderately virulent strain VR-2385 that antagonizes IFN induction. Analysis of the rescued chimeric viruses demonstrated that the middle two fragments, ranging from nt4545 to nt12709 of the A2MC2 genome, were needed for the IFN induction, whereas the chimeric viruses containing any one of the two A2MC2 fragments failed to do so. The results and the cDNA infectious clone of the IFN-inducing A2MC2 will facilitate further study of its biology, ultimately leading towards the development of an improved vaccine against PRRS.
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
- infectious clone
- IFN induction