Determinants of virulence of classical swine fever virus strain Brescia

H.G.P. van Gennip, A.C. Vlot, M.M. Hulst, A.J. de Smit, R.J.M. Moormann

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    Two related classical swine fever virus (CSFV) strain Brescia clones were isolated from blood samples from an infected pig. Virus C1.1.1 is a cell-adapted avirulent variant, whereas CoBrB is a virulent variant. Sequence analysis revealed 29 nucleic acid mutations in C1.1.1, resulting in 9 amino acid substitutions compared to the sequence of CoBrB 476R. Using reverse genetics, parts of the genomes of these viruses, which contain differences that lead to amino acid changes, were exchanged. Animal experiments with chimeric viruses derived from C1.1.1 and CoBrB 476R showed that a combination of amino acid changes in the structural and nonstructural regions reduced the virulence of CSFV in pigs. Moreover, the presence of a Leu at position 710 in structural envelope protein E2 seemed to be an important factor in the virulence of the virus. Changing the Leu at position 710 in the CoBrB 476S variant into a His residue did not affect virulence. However, the 710His in the C1.1.1/CoBrB virus, together with adaptive mutations 276R, 476R, and 477I in Erns, resulted in reduced virulence in pigs. These results indicated that mutations in Erns and E2 alone do not determine virulence in pigs. The results of in vitro experiments suggested that a high affinity for heparan sulfate of C1.1.1 Erns may reduce the spread of the C1.1.1/CoBrB virus in pigs and together with the altered surface structure of E2 caused by the 710LH mutation may result in a less efficient infection of specific target cells in pigs. Both these features contributed to the attenuation of the C1.1.1/CoBrB virus in vivo.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8812-8823
    JournalJournal of Virology
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • hog-cholera virus
    • viral diarrhea virus
    • glycoprotein e-rns
    • full-length cdna
    • protein e-rns
    • nucleotide-sequence
    • monoclonal-antibodies
    • heparan-sulfate
    • envelope protein-e1
    • molecular-cloning

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    van Gennip, H. G. P., Vlot, A. C., Hulst, M. M., de Smit, A. J., & Moormann, R. J. M. (2004). Determinants of virulence of classical swine fever virus strain Brescia. Journal of Virology, 78(16), 8812-8823.