Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a highly contagious enteric pathogen of swine causing high mortality rates in piglets. PEDV outbreaks have occurred continuously in most swine-producing Asian countries and have recently emerged in the United States, leading to large economic losses for both the Asian and US pig industries. The spike (S) protein of PEDV consists of the S1 and S2 domains, responsible for virus binding and fusion, respectively. The involvement of the S1 domain in specific high-affinity interactions with the cellular receptor and induction of neutralizing antibodies in the natural host makes it a logical target for the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics against PEDV. Passive immunization by oral administration of egg yolk antibodies (IgY) obtained from immunized chickens provides an alternative source of specific antibodies for the prevention and treatment of PEDV in newborn piglets. In this study, we produced an IgY against the PEDV S1 protein and investigated its immunoprophylactic effect in neonatal piglets. A codon-optimized PEDV S1 gene consisting of amino acid residues 25–749 was synthesized and used to establish a stable porcine cell line constitutively expressing a recombinant PEDV S1 protein containing the chicken immunoglobulin Fc fragment at its C-terminus. The purified recombinant S1 protein was found to mediate potent immune responses in immunized hens. We next tested the ability of oral passive immunization with anti-PEDV S1 IgY to protect piglets against PEDV. Specific chicken IgY against the S1 protein was orally administered to neonatal piglets, and their responses subsequent to a virulent PEDV challenge were monitored. The results showed that oral administration of anti-PEDV S1 IgY efficiently protects neonatal piglets against PEDV, suggesting its potential as a prophylactic or therapeutic agent against acute PEDV infection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 23, 2015
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