avian & livestock assay data sheet
endogenous retrovirus (PERV)
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of porcine endogenous
retrovirus by reverse transcription coupled real time PCR.
This assay detects but does not differentiate types A and C
porcine endogenous retroviruses.
Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) belongs to the
gamma-retrovirus genus of the family
retroviridae; the virus is
enveloped and icosahedral in shape. The viral genome consists of
a linear positive-sense single-stranded RNA, approximately
8.0-8.5 kb in length.
In recent years,
xenotransplantation involving the movement of porcine-derived
tissues into human has increasingly been gaining attention.
However, xenotransplantation may be associated with the risk of
transmission of zoonotic agents. In pigs, porcine endogenous
retroviruses (PERVs) pose a potentially high risk because they
are integrated into the genome of all pigs. Although these PERVs
can infect human cells in vitro, PERV transmission from
transplanted pig tissues to human or primate recipients has
never been demonstrated. In addition, inoculation of
immunosuppressed small animals and non-human primates failed to
result in demonstrable PERV infection. Even though no diseases
have been associated with these viruses, routine screening for
expression of these dormant retroviruses is suggested (Scobie
and Takeuchi, 2009).
Detection of porcine
endogenous retrovirus can be performed by viral culture, but
culture sensitivity is low. Molecular detection by polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) is highly sensitive, specific and rapid.
Monitor PERV expression in pigs
Minimize human exposure to this virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from
Scobie, L. and
Takeuchi, Y. (2009) Porcine endogenous retrovirus and other
viruses in xenotransplantation. Curr. Opin. Organ Transplant.
Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood
in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml fresh,
frozen or fixed tissue.
For specimen types other than those listed here, please call to
confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or
during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped
and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping
requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped
so as to remain frozen in transit. See
shipping instructions for
Turnaround time: 2 business days
Methodology: Qualitative one-step
reverse transcription coupled real time PCR
Normal range: Nondetected
PERV PCR test