John Libbey Eurotext



Porcine respiratory coronavirus PRCV : an emerging virus with unprecedented features Volume 2, issue 4, Juillet-Août 1998


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Since 1984, a previously unrecognized respiratory coronavirus, causing a mostly unapparent infection, has rapidly and massively spread within the swine population in Europe. A few years later, viruses with similar caracteristics have been identified in the USA. The agent, designated PRCV, appears to be derived from the porcine enteropathogenic virus TGEV. The aim of this review is to analyze the data regarding this new agent and the infection it induces, mainly from a molecular point of view. Indeed, such investigations have greatly contributed to elucidate the nature of the events involved in the emergence of PRCV. All the PRCV genotypes known to date are characterized by the presence of multiple deletions, one of each targets the gene encoding the spike protein. The study of this virus has undeniably brought new insights about the bases determining the tropism – either intestinal or respiratory – of this group of coronaviruses, some of which infect humans.