A nine-base nucleotide sequence in the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) nucleocapsid gene determines viral replication and virulence

S. Krakowka, Gordon Allan, J. Ellis, A. Hamberg, C. Charreyre, E. Kaufmann, C. Brooks, B. Meehan

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Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) was retrospectively identified by serology in swine populations as an asymptomatic infection at least 25 years prior to the first reported case of PCV2-associated postweaning multisystemit wasting syndrome (PMWS). To investigate the sudden emergence of PMWS, viral sequences were amplified from frozen archived (1970-1971) porcine tissues and the complete genome of archival PCV2 was determined. The ORF1 gene product (viral DNA replicase) was homologous to contemporary PCV2 ORF1. In ORF2 (viral nucleocapsid gene) archival PCV2, a consistent linear nine-base sequence difference at base positions 1331 through 1339 was observed.The deduced amino acid sequence from these base changes alters the nucleocapsid conformation within the second immunogenic epitope from a hydrophobic (contemporary PCV2) to a hydrophilic (archival PCV2) configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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