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J Virol. 2004 Apr;78(7):3684-703.

Characterization of emerging European-like porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus isolates in the United States.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA.


European-like field isolates of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) have recently emerged in North America. The full-length genomic sequence of an index isolate characterized in 1999, strain EuroPRRSV, served as the reference strain for further studies of the evolution and epidemiology of European-like isolates (type 1) in the United States. Strain EuroPRRSV shared 90.1 to 100% amino acid identity with the prototype European strain, Lelystad, within the structural and nonstructural open reading frames (ORFs) and 95.3% overall nucleotide identity. The 5' untranslated region and two nonstructural regions within ORF 1 were closely examined due to significant divergence from strain Lelystad. A 51-bp deletion in a region within ORF 1a, coding for nonstructural protein 2 (NSP2), was observed. Sequence analysis of the structural ORFs 2 to 7 of additional European-like isolates indicated that these isolates share 93% nucleotide identity with one another and 95 to 96% identity with the Lelystad strain but only 70% identity with the North American reference strain VR-2332. Phylogenetic analysis with published PRRSV ORF 3, 5, and 7 nucleotide sequences indicated that these newly emerging isolates form a clade with the Lelystad and United Kingdom PRRSV isolates. Detailed analysis of four of these isolates with a panel of 60 monoclonal antibodies directed against the structural proteins confirmed a recognition pattern that was more consistent with strain Lelystad than with other North American isolates.

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