Porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) are widely distributed in the genomes of pigs. PERV-A and PERV-B are present in all pigs. They infect human cells in vitro and therefore represent a risk for xenotransplantation when pig cells, tissues or organs are used. PERV-C infects only pig cells and is not present in the genomes of all pigs. However, PERV-A/C recombinants infecting human cells and characterized by high replication titers were found in pigs. To select PERV-C-free animals that cannot generate such recombinants, PCR-based assays were developed (Kaulitz et al., J Virol Methods, 175:60, 2011 ). When screening for PERV-C in German wild boars ( Sus scrofa scrofa ), applying these methods, a new variant of PERV-C was identified. Whereas in all 125 wild boar only the new variant of PERV-C was found, different variants were present in some landrace pigs, and most importantly, some pigs were totally free of PERV-C.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2013
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