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Published May 4, 2015 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Broadly neutralizing antibodies against the rapidly evolving porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus


Neutralizing antibodies are a critical part of the immune armory for defense against viruses, and the mechanism by which many effective vaccines work to protect against viral infections. However, infections by rapidly evolving and genetically diverse viruses are often characterized by ineffective neutralizing antibody responses. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a highly genetically diverse RNA virus that causes PRRS, the most significant disease of pigs worldwide. The prevailing view of immunity to PRRSV is characterized by delayed and ineffectual production of neutralizing antibodies lacking cross-reactivity that is necessary for vaccine efficacy. Using an ELISA-based neutralizing assay developed to analyze PRRSV growth in porcine alveolar macrophages, the naturally permissive cell of PRRSV, we showed that sera from previously infected commercial sows had high levels of neutralizing activity against diverse PRRSV strains, including across distinct genotypes of PRRSV. Fifty percent cross-neutralization titers in excess of 1/1024 were observed. Neutralizing activity was dose-dependent and was maintained in the immunoglobulin fraction. Presence of high-titer, anti-PRRSV antibody activity that cross-neutralizes diverse strains of virus has prompted reevaluation of the role of neutralizing antibodies for cross-protection against PRRSV under field conditions. Understanding conditions that favor development of cross-neutralizing activity will be crucial for improved strategies to enhance cross-protection against PRRSV. More detailed studies are expected to elucidate mechanisms of neutralizing antibody production and maturation and to investigate conserved epitope targets of cross-neutralization in this rapidly evolving virus.

Additional Information

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Received 11 November 2014; Received in revised form 23 March 2015; Accepted 26 March 2015; Available online 4 April 2015. The authors wish to thank Dr. Paul Yeske, Swine Vet Center, St.Peter, MN, and Dr. Mark Wagner, Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, Fair-mont, MN, for providing sow serum samples. Diem Ngo assisted with virus growth and quantification and serum neutralization assays.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023