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Reverse Genetic Assessment of the Roles Played by the Spike Protein and ORF3 in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Pathogenicity


Kristen-Burmann, Claudia; Rogger, Peter; Veiga, Inês Berenguer; Riebesehl, Stefanie; Rappe, Julie; Ebert, Nadine; Sautter, Carmen A; Kelly, Jenna N; Stalder, Hanspeter; Ehmann, Rosina; Huber, Michael; Posthaus, Horst; Ruggli, Nicolas; Thiel, Volker; Tekes, Gergely (2023). Reverse Genetic Assessment of the Roles Played by the Spike Protein and ORF3 in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Pathogenicity. Journal of Virology, 97(7):e0196422.

Abstract

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is a swine pathogen that has been responsible for significant animal and economic losses worldwide in recent years. In this manuscript, we report the generation of a reverse genetics system C(RGS) for the highly virulent US PEDV strain Minnesota (PEDV-MN; GenBank accession number KF468752), which was based on the assembly and cloning of synthetic DNA, using vaccinia virus as a cloning vector. Viral rescue was only possible following the substitution of 2 nucleotides within the 5'UTR and 2 additional nucleotides within the spike gene, based on the sequence of the cell culture-adapted strains. Besides displaying a highly pathogenic phenotype in newborn piglets, in comparison with the parental virus, the rescued recombinant PEDV-MN was used to confirm that the PEDV spike gene has an important role in PEDV virulence and that the impact of an intact PEDV ORF3 on viral pathogenicity is modest. Moreover, a chimeric virus with a TGEV spike gene in the PEDV backbone generated with RGS was able to replicate efficiently in vivo and could be readily transmitted between piglets. Although this chimeric virus did not cause severe disease upon the initial infection of piglets, there was evidence of increasing pathogenicity upon transmission to contact piglets. The RGS described in this study constitutes a powerful tool with which to study PEDV pathogenesis and can be used to generate vaccines against porcine enteric coronaviruses. IMPORTANCE PEDV is a swine pathogen that is responsible for significant animal and economic losses worldwide. Highly pathogenic variants can lead to a mortality rate of up to 100% in newborn piglets. The generation of a reverse genetics system for a highly virulent PEDV strain originating from the United States is an important step in phenotypically characterizing PEDV. The synthetic PEDV mirrored the authentic isolate and displayed a highly pathogenic phenotype in newborn piglets. With this system, it was possible to characterize potential viral virulence factors. Our data revealed that an accessory gene (ORF3) has a limited impact on pathogenicity. However, as it is also now known for many coronaviruses, the PEDV spike gene is one of the main determinants of pathogenicity. Finally, we show that the spike gene of another porcine coronavirus, namely, TGEV, can be accommodated in the PEDV genome background, suggesting that similar viruses can emerge in the field via recombination.

Abstract

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is a swine pathogen that has been responsible for significant animal and economic losses worldwide in recent years. In this manuscript, we report the generation of a reverse genetics system C(RGS) for the highly virulent US PEDV strain Minnesota (PEDV-MN; GenBank accession number KF468752), which was based on the assembly and cloning of synthetic DNA, using vaccinia virus as a cloning vector. Viral rescue was only possible following the substitution of 2 nucleotides within the 5'UTR and 2 additional nucleotides within the spike gene, based on the sequence of the cell culture-adapted strains. Besides displaying a highly pathogenic phenotype in newborn piglets, in comparison with the parental virus, the rescued recombinant PEDV-MN was used to confirm that the PEDV spike gene has an important role in PEDV virulence and that the impact of an intact PEDV ORF3 on viral pathogenicity is modest. Moreover, a chimeric virus with a TGEV spike gene in the PEDV backbone generated with RGS was able to replicate efficiently in vivo and could be readily transmitted between piglets. Although this chimeric virus did not cause severe disease upon the initial infection of piglets, there was evidence of increasing pathogenicity upon transmission to contact piglets. The RGS described in this study constitutes a powerful tool with which to study PEDV pathogenesis and can be used to generate vaccines against porcine enteric coronaviruses. IMPORTANCE PEDV is a swine pathogen that is responsible for significant animal and economic losses worldwide. Highly pathogenic variants can lead to a mortality rate of up to 100% in newborn piglets. The generation of a reverse genetics system for a highly virulent PEDV strain originating from the United States is an important step in phenotypically characterizing PEDV. The synthetic PEDV mirrored the authentic isolate and displayed a highly pathogenic phenotype in newborn piglets. With this system, it was possible to characterize potential viral virulence factors. Our data revealed that an accessory gene (ORF3) has a limited impact on pathogenicity. However, as it is also now known for many coronaviruses, the PEDV spike gene is one of the main determinants of pathogenicity. Finally, we show that the spike gene of another porcine coronavirus, namely, TGEV, can be accommodated in the PEDV genome background, suggesting that similar viruses can emerge in the field via recombination.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Virology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Microbiology
Life Sciences > Immunology
Life Sciences > Insect Science
Life Sciences > Virology
Uncontrolled Keywords:ORF3; porcine epidemic diarrhea virus; spike gene; synthesized DNA; vaccinia virus reverse genetics
Language:English
Date:27 July 2023
Deposited On:15 Jan 2024 14:05
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.01964-22
PubMed ID:37358450
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)