Assessing the functionality of viral entry-associated domains of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus during inactivation procedures, a potential tool to optimize inactivated vaccines

Vet Res. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(6):62. doi: 10.1051/vetres/2009047. Epub 2009 Aug 13.


Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes severe economic losses in the pig industry worldwide. Currently, vaccines based on inactivated PRRSV provide limited protection of pigs against infection, most likely because viral epitopes associated with the induction of neutralizing antibodies are not or poorly conserved during inactivation. To analyze the effect of inactivation procedures on the interaction of PRRSV with receptors involved in virus entry, a new assay was set up in this study. Viral entry-associated domains are most likely important for the induction of neutralizing antibodies, since neutralizing antibodies block interaction of PRRSV with cellular receptors. To investigate the interaction of PRRSV with the cellular receptors upon different inactivation procedures, attachment to and internalization of inactivated PRRSV into macrophages were monitored. AT-2 could not inactivate PRRSV completely and is therefore not useful for vaccine development. PRRSV inactivated with ultraviolet light, binary ethyleneimine and gamma irradiation, which all mainly have an effect at the genomic level, showed no difference compared to control live virus at all levels of virus entry, whereas PRRSV treated with formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and pH changes, which all have a modifying effect on proteins, was not able to internalize into macrophages anymore. These results suggest that inactivation with methods with a main effect on the viral genome preserve PRRSV entry-associated domains and are useful for future development of an effective inactivated vaccine against PRRSV. Although PRRSV incubation at 37 degrees C can completely inactivate PRRSV with preservation of entry-associated domains, this method is not recommended for vaccine development, since the mechanism is yet unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus / genetics*
  • Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus / physiology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Swine
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / immunology*
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*
  • Virus Inactivation*
  • Virus Internalization*
  • Virus Replication


  • Vaccines, Inactivated
  • Viral Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines