The betterment of PRRSV vaccines is a national priority for the swine industry and for USDA as well. National Pork Board’s Swine Research Program and also USDA-AFRI-NIFA research program assign top priority to the development of cross protective strategies for PRRS immunization, which should result in the enhancement of a vaccine’s ability to provide heterologous protection (i.e. protection against PRRSV Strains that are distant or very different from the strain used for vaccination). Such fundamental requirement for improving current vaccines is dictated by the formidable genetic diversity of the multiple strains of PRRSV that simultaneously circulate in the field.
In our laboratories we explore two major alternatives towards the pursuit of broadly protective PRRSV vaccines:
1) The development of consensus-sequence live vaccines that would improve heterologous protection founded on major conserved determinants of protection (epitopes) inducing (T) cell-mediated immunity, and
2) Discovery of key antigenic determinants of protection (conserved B-cell epitopes) that enter in the composition of external glycoproteins of PRRSV that would induce the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies capable of preventing infection by many diverse heterologous PRRSV strains.