Co-infection of pigs in the field with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is common and poses a major concern in effective control of PCV2 and PRRSV. We previously demonstrated that insertion of foreign epitope tags in the C-terminus of PCV2 ORF2 produced infectious virions that elicited humoral immune responses against both PCV2 capsid and inserted epitope tags. In this study, we aimed to determine whether the non-pathogenic chimeric virus PCV1-2a, which is the basis for the licensed PCV2 vaccine Fostera™ PCV, can express PRRSV antigenic epitopes, thus generating dual immunity as a potential bivalent vaccine against both PCV2 and PPRSV. Four different linear B-cell antigenic epitopes of PRRSV were inserted into the C-terminus of the capsid gene of the PCV1-2a vaccine virus. We showed that insertion of 12 (PRRSV-GP2 epitope II, PRRSV-GP3 epitope I, and PRRSV-GP5 epitope I), and 14 (PRRSV-GP5 epitope IV) amino acid residues did not impair the replication of the resulting PCV1-2a-PRRSVEPI chimeric viruses in vitro. The four chimeric PCV1-2a viruses expressing PRRSV B-cell linear epitopes were successfully rescued and characterized. An immunogenicity study in pigs revealed that two of the four chimeric viruses, PCV1-2a-PRRSVEPIGP3IG and PCV1-2a-PRRSVEPIEPIGP5IV, elicited neutralizing antibodies against PRRSV VR2385 as well as PCV2 (strains PCV2a, PCV2b, and mPCV2b). The results have important implications for exploring the potential use of PCV1-2a vaccine virus as a live virus vector to develop bivalent MLVs against both PCV2 and PRRSV.
- Bivalent modified live-attenuated vaccine (MLV)
- Chimeric PCV1-2 vaccine
- Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Cancer Research