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Virus Res. 2009 Sep;144(1-2):136-44. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 4.

Genetic diversity of the ORF5 gene of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus isolates in China from 2006 to 2008.

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Division of Swine Infectious Diseases, Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, No. 518, Ziyue Road, Minhang District, Shanghai 200241, China.


Since April 2006, swine herds have experienced the outbreaks of a highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in China. To explore the possible mechanism of the emergence of the highly pathogenic PRRS and more fully understand the extent of genetic diversity of PRRSV in China, we analyzed the ORF5 gene sequences of 159 representative PRRSV isolates in 16 provinces from 2006 to 2008. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that all these 159 isolates belonged to the North American genotype and were further divided into six subgenotypes; 140 of 159 isolates were closely related to the highly pathogenic PRRSV with 98.5-100% nucleotide and 98.3-100% amino acid sequence identities and belonged to Subgenotype I; and 3, 8, 4, 3, 1 of 159 isolates were part of Subgenotypes II-VI, respectively. Amino acid analysis of the GP5 protein revealed that all the isolates in Subgenotypes I-III were found to be highly variable in the primary neutralizing epitope; most of the isolates in Subgenotypes I and IV had more glycosylation sites than those in Subgenotypes II, III, V and VI; and 1, 5, and 9 unique amino acid mutations were observed in Subgenotypes I, IV and VI, respectively. In conclusion, our study provides the evidence of coexistence of six different subgenotype isolates in pigs in China from 2006 to 2008, and emphasizes the importance of reinforcing PRRSV surveillance, especially after the emergence of highly pathogenic PRRS in China.

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