Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is an enteric coronavirus that causes acute diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and a high mortality rate in neonatal piglets. In recent years, PEDV has been associated with co-infections with other swine enteric viruses, including porcine rotavirus (PoRV), resulting in increased mortality among newborn piglets. In this paper, we developed a bivalent vaccine against PEDV and PoRV by constructing a recombinant PEDV encoding PoRV VP7 (rPEDV-PoRV-VP7). The recombinant virus was constructed by replacing the entire open reading frame 3 (ORF3) in the genome of an attenuated PEDV strain YN150 with the PoRV VP7 gene using reverse genetic systems. Similar plaque morphology and replication kinetics were observed in Vero cells with the recombinant PEDV compared to the wild-type PEDV. It is noteworthy that the VP7 protein could be expressed stably in rPEDV-PoRV-VP7-infected cells. To evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of rPEDV-PoRV-VP7, 10-day-old piglets were vaccinated with the recombinant virus. After inoculation, no piglet displayed clinical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or anorexia. The PoRV VP7- and PEDV spike-specific IgG in serum and IgA in saliva were detected in piglets after rPEDV-PoRV-VP7 vaccination. Moreover, both PoRV and PEDV neutralizing antibodies were produced simultaneously in the inoculated piglets. Collectively, we engineered a recombinant PEDV expressing PoRV VP7 that could be used as an effective bivalent vaccine against PEDV and PoRV.
Keywords: immunogenicity; porcine epidemic diarrhea virus; porcine rotavirus; recombinant vaccine.