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Sustaining Interferon Induction by a High-Passage Atypical Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Strain

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  • Zexu Ma
  • Ying Yu
  • Yueqiang Xiao
  • Tanja Opriessnig
  • Rong Wang
  • Liping Yang
  • Yuchen Nan
  • Siba K Samal
  • Patrick G Halbur
  • Yan-Jin Zhang

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    Rights statement: © The Author(s) 2016 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36312
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date2 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2016


Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) strain A2MC2 induces type I interferons in cultured cells. The objective of this study was to attenuate this strain by serial passaging in MARC-145 cells and assess its virulence and immunogenicity in pigs. The A2MC2 serially passaged 90 times (A2MC2-P90) retains the feature of interferon induction. The A2MC2-P90 replicates faster with a higher virus yield than wild type A2MC2 virus. Infection of primary pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAMs) also induces interferons. Sequence analysis showed that the A2MC2-P90 has genomic nucleic acid identity of 99.8% to the wild type but has a deletion of 543 nucleotides in nsp2. The deletion occurred in passage 60. The A2MC2-P90 genome has a total of 35 nucleotide variations from the wild type, leading to 26 amino acid differences. Inoculation of three-week-old piglets showed that A2MC2-P90 is avirulent and elicits immune response. Compared with Ingelvac PRRS(®) MLV strain, A2MC2-P90 elicits higher virus neutralizing antibodies. The attenuated IFN-inducing A2MC2-P90 should be useful for development of an improved PRRSV vaccine.

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