Porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) are of concern when the microbiological safety aspects of xenotransplantation are considered. Four unique isolates of PERV B have been identified previously from a lambda library constructed from genomic DNA from a Large White pig. This study shows that none of these isolates are replication competent when transfected into permissive human or pig cells in vitro, and the removal of flanking genomic sequences does not confer a human tropic replication competent (HTRC) phenotype on these PERV proviruses. Analysis of the envelope sequences revealed that PERV B demonstrated high similarity to the envelope sequences derived from replication-competent PERV, indicating that lack of replication competence does not appear to be attributable to this region of the provirus. These data complement recent findings that HTRC PERV are recombinants between the PERV A and PERV C subgroups, and that these recombinants are not present in the germline of miniature swine. Together, these results indicate that these individual PERV B proviruses are unlikely to give rise to HTRC PERV.
- human tropic replication competent
- RNA viruses
- porcine endogenous retroviruses