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Virology. 2008 Feb 20;371(2):418-29. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

Attenuation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain MN184 using chimeric construction with vaccine sequence.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Two genetically distinct infectious recombinant virus clones (pMLV, constructed from Ingelvac PRRS MLV and pMN184, constructed from virulent strain MN184) were developed to study attenuation of contemporary porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) strain MN184. Two reciprocal chimeric clones (pMLVORF1/MN184 and pMN184ORF1/MLV) were then constructed, such that the 5'UTR/ORF1 of one genotype was linked to ORF2-7/3'UTR from the other genotype. In vitro studies demonstrated that the rescued chimeric viruses possessed intermediate growth properties compared to recombinant rMLV and rMN184. Swine inoculation with rMN184 and rMLV verified that these viruses fully mimicked the respective parent virus. In addition, earlier and higher antibody responses were detected in animals infected with rMN184 in contrast to those infected with rMLV. Chimeric virus treatment groups showed similar antibody responses as seen with these parent viruses, but much less severe pathogenesis when compared to the rMN184 group. These data suggested that genetic aspects of Ingelvac PRRS MLV 5'UTR/ORF1 replicase region and/or the structural proteins/3'UTR can serve to attenuate virulent strain MN184. The data also indicated that designed PRRSV vaccines could be developed, keeping the known 5'UTR/replicase region of an early vaccine strain such as Ingelvac PRRS MLV intact, but replacing the structural protein/3'UTR domain with that of an emerging virulent virus.

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