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