Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

New tools and approaches to control Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome in the EU and Asia - SE0529

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the major cause of reproductive
and respiratory disorders in pigs worldwide. Controlling this disease is a top priority in all pig
producing countries. Due to mutations at a high frequency, new variants of the virus appear that are no
longer effectively controlled by the commercial vaccines. In addition, highly virulent variants emerge,
leading to extremely high losses. With regard to animal welfare and agricultural economics, there is an
urgent need to control PRRS. Furthermore, the abusive use of antibiotics to control PRRSV-associated
respiratory problems may lead to resistance that may endanger public health.
PoRRSCon is an initiative of 14 partners originating from Europe and Asia with strong expertises in
virology and immunology. They are doing frontline research on PRRSV and/or vaccine development.
Two of these partners are leading European pharmaceutical companies that will guide the consortium
in the direction of exploitable results. By joining their strengths they have an ideal position to be
successful in one of the most difficult challenges in pig health, controlling PRRS.

To reach this final goal, the following objectives are forwarded:
(i) characterize genetically and antigenically current PRRSV isolates in Europe and Asia
(ii) have a better understanding of the complex pathogenesis of PRRSV infections, immune response against PRRSV and immune modulation by PRRSV
(iii) define the genetic base of PRRSV virulence
(iv) identify PRRSV proteins and domains on these viral proteins that are involved in the induction of the immunity against PRRSV and in the immune modulation of PRRSV
(v) develop new generation, efficacious and safe marker vaccines that can be adapted to temporary changes and geographical differences and
(vi) develop DIVA assays that allow to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals. At the end, it will be possible to set up a control strategy by combining marker vaccines with DIVA assays.

The tools and approaches developed in PoRRSCon will become available to all national and international authorities that want to solve the PRRS problems.
1. Comparative analysis of the pathogenesis of PRRSV strains in order to understand differences in pathogenicity/virulence.

2. Identification of the viral gene(s) involved in the virulence of highly pathogenesis PRRSV strains causing porcine high fever disease (PHFD)

3. Identification of transcripts induced by highly virulent and low virulent PRRSV strains

4. Identification of viral ligands interacting with sialoadhesin, viral counterparts for CD163 and protease cleavage sites on viral proteins and possible differences between subclinical and highly virulent PRRSV strains.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : SE0529 Final report - final   (246k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2014

Cost: £79,196
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Diseases              
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Vector-Borne Viral Diseases              
Fields of Study
Animal Health