Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Vaccine. 2013 September 13; 31(40): 4330–4337. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.07.020.


© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) vaccines have proven extremely useful for control and eradication of infectious diseases in livestock. We describe here the characterization of a serologic marker epitope, so-called epitope-M201, which can be a potential target for development of a live-attenuated DIVA vaccine against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Epitope-M201 is located at the carboxyl terminus (residues 161-174) of the viral M protein. The epitope is highly immunodominant and well-conserved among type-II PRRSV isolates. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies prepared against this epitope are non-neutralizing; thus, the epitope does not seem to contribute to the protective immunity against PRRSV infection. Importantly, the immunogenicity of epitope-M201 can be disrupted through the introduction of a single amino acid mutation which does not adversely affect the viral replication. All together, our results provide an important starting point for the development of a liveattenuated DIVA vaccine against type-II PRRSV.