An overview of immunological and genetic methods for detecting swine coronaviruses, transmissible gastroenteritis virus, and porcine respiratory coronavirus in tissues

Theerapol Sirinarumitr, Prem S. Paul, Patrick G. Halbur, John P. Kluge

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9 Scopus citations


Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) is an enteric disease of swine caused by a coronavirus, designated as transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV). Commonly used methods for TGEV detection include viral isolation and detection of the viral antigen by indirect immunofluorescence (IFA), immunoperoxidase, and immunogold silver staining. Each of these techniques has some advantages and disadvantages. In general IFA and immunohistochemistry are preferred over viral isolation as TGEV isolation is not very reliable because not all field isolates replicate in cell cultures. The diagnosis of TGEV has become more complicated since the emergence of porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV). PRCV is believed to be a TGEV mutant, and can not be easily differentiated from TGEV by immunological tests. Nucleic acid probes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have successfully been used to detect and differentiate these viruses. These techniques can detect vital nucleic acids in the specimen but do not provide information on the cell types infected by these viruses. Recently we have developed isotopic and nonisotopic in situ hybridization techniques (ISH) for the detection of these viral nucleic acids in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Furthermore, this procedure can differentiate between TGEV-and PRCV-infected cells. By ISH, TGEV is detected in the mature absorptive enterocytes of tissues infected by TGEV and the crypt epithelial cells are also infected but to a lesser extent. For PRCV, the main infected cells are epithelial cells of the bronchioles, type II pneumocytes, and alveolar and septal macrophages. ISH is an excellent tool for studying molecular pathogenesis of these two viruses especially when used in combination with immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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