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News Article

PRRSV: Knockout of maternal CD163 protects fetuses


Study may provide a practical means to eliminate PRRSV-associated reproductive disease.

Raymond "Bob" Rowland, Kansas State University professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has created a way to protect offspring from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) during pregnancy. He has found that dams without the CD163 protein are resistant to PPRSV and give birth to healthy, normal piglets. The study is published in Scientific Reports.

"We have created a protective shell against the PRRS virus during the reproductive phase of production," Rowland said. "The offspring does not become infected during pregnancy and is born a healthy piglet. During this critical phase of production, we have essentially ended a disease."

PPRSV causes disease in two forms: a respiratory form that weakens young pigs' ability to breathe and a more severe reproductive form that causes mass deaths in pigs during late pregnancy.

"The reproductive form not only has a tremendous economic impact, but also a psychological impact on people who work with pigs," said Rowland, who has spent more than 20 years studying PRRSV. "When we look at ways to control this disease, it really begins with reproduction. We want to keep this disease out of the reproductive process and we have found a way to do that."

Rowland collaborated with Randall Prather, a professor at the University of Missouri, and a team to develop PRRS-resistant pigs. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, the researchers found that pigs without the CD163 protein showed no signs or evidence of being infected with PRRSV. CD163 is the receptor for the virus.

Pigs are protected from PRRSV during the critical reproductive process, Rowland said. However, because offspring are born normal, they may still be susceptible to the disease later in life.

"This is one tool that we can use," Rowland said. "It doesn't mean that we can give up on vaccines or diagnostics, but it does create more opportunities for other tools to become more effective. Because this pig is born healthy, it will respond better to a vaccine or a diagnostic test. We are enhancing other aspects of disease control as well."

Rowland will present the research at the 2017 North American PRRS Symposium, 1-3 December, in Chicago.

Read article: Knockout of maternal CD163 protects fetuses from infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) by Randall S. Prather, Kevin D. Wells, Kristin M. Whitworth, Maureen A. Kerrigan, Melissa S. Samuel, Alan Mileham, Luca N. Popescu and Raymond R. R. Rowland, published in Scientific Reports (2017) 7, Article number: 13371, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13794-2

Article details

  • Date
  • 01 December 2017
  • Source
  • Kansas State University
  • Subject(s)
  • Veterinary medicine