Since 2010, porcine epidemic diarrhea has re-emerged with devastating impact on the swine-raising industry in central China. To investigate the epidemic characteristics of PEDV, the complete ORF3 genes of 14 PEDV field strains from central China during 2012 to 2013 were cloned, sequenced and compared with reference strains. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete ORF3 gene showed that the PEDVs in central China and the reference strains could be divided into three groups: G1, G2, and G3. The 14 PEDV isolates were classified as G1 and showed a close relationship to some Chinese strains isolated previously in central China and differed genetically from recent isolates from southern China, Korean strains (SM98 and DB1865, 2012), the Chinese LZC strain (2007), and the vaccine strain (CV777) being used in China. Our findings suggested that the PEDVs circulating between 2012 and 2013 in central China might have evolved from earlier strains in the local region. To determine the reason for recent vaccination failures, we also studied variations in antigenicity of field strains by analyzing the three neutralizing epitope regions in the S gene. The results showed that the neutralizing epitopes at aa 245-252 were highly conserved, but most of the amino acid changes occurred in the epitope regions aa 7-146 and 271-278. We speculate that the amino acid mutations in the neutralizing epitope regions may be associated with changes in the antigenicity of PEDV and consequently result in vaccination failure. Together, these findings may be useful for understanding the epidemiology of PEDV and may be relevant for designing of new and more efficacious vaccines.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2014
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