Modulation of the Host Immune Response by PRRSV


Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) continues to be one of the most economically important diseases in the modern swine industry. Despite the large number of studies carried out to better understand the interaction between PRRS-virus (PRRSV) and the host immune response, there are still numerous questions to be answered to allow the establishment of efficient control measures of this disease. This Research Topic welcomes opinion pieces, review articles and research papers focused on:

- The most recent advances in host-pathogen interaction - in particular the strategies developed by PRRSV to evade the host immune response and to persist in the host.

- The current and new prophylactic and therapeutic interventions to fight against this disease.

PRRSV is known to induce a poor innate immune response; however, this assumption has been mainly based on a poor expression of interferon alpha (IFNα), whereas research on the role of other important mediators of the innate response, such as NK cells, is scarce. Although an enhancement of the cytotoxic response may be detected, these cells seem to be non-functional. In addition, the polarization of macrophages might also play a significant role in susceptibility to this virus. Therefore, considering the diversity of PRRSV genotypes and strains, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the initiation of innate and adaptive immune responses, together with the interaction of PRRSV with antigen presenting cells (APC) and the initiation of the APC function, should be addressed. The identification of specific immunogenic and antigenic domains or epitopes with a role in the immune response is particularly encouraged. The emergence of highly pathogenic PRRSV strains (HP-PRRSV) has highlighted new mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, such as the use of alternative receptors for viral entry - different from those reported for “classic” strains.

Nonetheless, the mechanisms triggered by these HP-PRRSVs to exert their virulence are still not clear. A higher viral replication rate and the modulation of the cytokine cascade are potential factors affecting the severity of the lesions and inflammatory response. For those reasons, studies focused on the development of new and traditional strategies in the control of PRRSV replication or shedding, considering either the identification of potential vaccine candidates or the cross-protection against heterologous or HP-PRRSV strains, are also fostered within this Research Topic.

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Media contact:

Sarah Eve
Managing Editor
Immunotherapy: Open access