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Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes major problems for the swine industry worldwide. Due to Austria's central location in Europe, a large number of animals are transported through the country. However, little is known about current PRRSV strains and epidemiology. We determined full-length genome sequences of two Austrian field isolates (AUT13-883 and AUT14-440) from recent PRRSV outbreaks and of a related German isolate (GER09-613). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the strains belong to European genotype 1 subtype 1 and form a cluster together with a South Korean strain. Remarkably, AUT14-440 infected the simian cell line MARC-145 without prior adaptation. In addition, this isolate showed exceptional deletions in nonstructural protein 2, in the overlapping region of glycoprotein 3 and 4 and in the 3′ untranslated region. Both Austrian isolates caused similar lung lesions but only pigs infected with AUT14-440 developed clear clinical signs of infection. Taken together, the genetic and biological characterization of two novel Austrian PRRSV field isolates revealed similarities to East Asian strains. This stresses the necessity for a more detailed analysis of current PRRSV strains in Europe beyond the determination of short ORF5 and ORF7 sequences.
Sinn, L. J., Zieglowski, L., Koinig, H., Lamp, B., Jansko, B., Mößlacher, G., … Rümenapf, T. (2016). Characterization of two Austrian porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) field isolates reveals relationship to East Asian strains. Veterinary Research, 47(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-015-0293-x