Pathogenesis for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

Schematic depicting how PRRSV changes the immune cells response to viral infection. We are engineering modified viruses to alleviate these changes and enhance the host immune response when vaccinated (Image by Joe Darbellay)

Project Team: Volker Gerdts, Akarin Asavajaru, Joe Darbellay, Stacy Strom, Jill van Kessel 

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, caused by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), continues to be the most significant cause of swine production losses globally. In North America, the annual economic loss of a PRRSV infected pig is estimated between $10-20, which results in industry-wide losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently inactivated and modified-live vaccines against PRRSV are commercially available, and DNA- and vectored-vaccines are in early preclinical development. However, these vaccines have failed to provide complete protection against the wide range of PRRSV strains, and/or are associated with significant safety risks. A more effective vaccine is urgently needed by global swine producers.