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Virus Genes. 2009 Apr;38(2):276-84. doi: 10.1007/s11262-008-0322-1. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Molecular mutations associated with the in vitro passage of virulent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, No. 2 Yuanmingyuan Western Road, Haidian District, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Mutants of a highly pathogenic, porcine reproductive, and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), JXA1 strain, were prepared by continuous in vitro passage. Genomic sequence comparisons were made between mutants obtained at different passages and the parental strain JXA1. The mutant strain obtained at passage 80 contained a 12 nucleotide insertion and 108 nucleotide mutations that resulted in 45 amino acid changes. Most of these changes (89%) occurred between passage 10 and 45 and were genetically stable for the next 35-70 passages. A comparison of the mutants, their parental strain, and several American PRRSV strains, identified 13 characteristic amino acid changes. These sites, as well as the distinct 12 nucleotide insertion, represent possible genetic markers for the evaluation of live vaccine applications, particularly for additional studies of the safety and potency of live PRRSV vaccines.

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