Immunogenicity of a Recombinant Parapoxvirus Expressing the Spike Protein of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

Journal of General Virology


The parapoxvirus Orf virus (ORFV), has long been recognized for its immunomodulatory properties in permissive and non-permissive animal species. Here, a new recombinant ORFV expressing the full-length spike (S) protein of Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was generated and its immunogenicity and protective efficacy were evaluated in pigs. The PEDV S was inserted into the ORFV121 gene locus, an immunomodulatory gene that inhibits activation of the NF-κB signalling pathway and contributes to ORFV virulence in the natural host. The recombinant ORFV-PEDV-S virus efficiently and stably expressed the PEDV S protein in cell culture in vitro. Three intramuscular (IM) immunizations with the recombinant ORFV-PEDV-S in 3-week-old pigs elicited robust serum IgG, IgA and neutralizing antibody responses against PEDV. Additionally, IM immunization with the recombinant ORFV-PEDV-S virus protected pigs from clinical signs of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) and reduced virus shedding in faeces upon challenge infection. These results demonstrate the suitability of ORFV121 gene locus as an insertion site for heterologous gene expression and delivery by ORFV-based viral vectors. Additionally, the results provide evidence of the potential of ORFV as a vaccine delivery vector for enteric viral diseases of swine. This study may have important implications for future development of ORFV-vectored vaccines for swine.