Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus (PERV)

Pig-to-Human xenotransplantation is a promising solution to the scarcity of human donor organs. However, the risk of cross-species transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) has prevented this approach from being used in clinical trials. Creative Biolabs is dedicated to providing veterinary and animal research antibodies. Our lab can provide you with high-quality PERV antibodies to help you advance your PERV and xenotransplantation research.


Pig genomes contain a few to several dozen copies of PERV elements, which integrate into germline DNA and allow for vertical transmission from parents to offspring. PERV is transcriptionally active in pigs, resulting in the production of virions capable of infecting cells from a variety of species in vitro. The virus is normally inactive proviral form, but it has the potential to produce mature viral particles that are infectious to other species.

PCV Structure and Proteins

PERV is a member of the Retroviridae family's Gammaretrovirus genus. PERV, like other gammaretroviruses, has a homodimeric RNA genome of about 8 kb. The genome is made up of genes for group-specific antigens (gag), polymerase (pol), and the envelope (env). These genes are flanked at both the 5' and 3' ends by non-coding sequences known as long terminal repeats (LTRs). The gag gene codes for structural proteins such as capsid (C), nucleocapsid (N), and matrix (M). The pol gene encodes several enzymes, including protease (PR), reverse transcriptase (RT), and integrase (IN). The env gene codes for viral surface envelope proteins (SU) as well as transmembrane envelope proteins (TMEP) (TM). The LTRs contain transcription factor binding sites and play an important role in the virus replication cycle.

PERV structure and genome organization.Fig.1 PERV structure and genome organization. (Łopata, et al., 2018)

Subtypes and Host Range

PERVs are currently classified into distinct subclasses. These subgroups use cellular receptors that are distinct from those used by other retroviruses and each other. PERV-A and B are found in the genomes of all pigs, whereas PERV-C is found in many but not all pigs and is only capable of infecting pig cells. PERV-A, PERV-B, PERV-NIH, and PERV-A/C recombinants have been shown to adapt to cell lines and infect human cells in vitro via serial passage. Primary cultures of porcine endothelial cells spontaneously release PERVs capable of infecting human cells, according to research. As a result, concerns about PERV transmission across species remain.

The genome of PERV subtypes.Fig.2 The genome of PERV subtypes. (Denner, 2021)

Creative Biolabs offers antibodies for veterinary immune research, translational research for human disease models, and applied animal health research. Various PERV antibodies are available for use in multiplexed assays. We also offer customized antibody development services, such as antibody discovery, engineering, and customized services. Please do not hesitate to contact us.


  1. Łopata, K. et al. Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV)-Molecular structure and replication strategy in the context of retroviral infection risk of human cells. Frontiers in microbiology. 2018, 9: 730.
  2. Denner, J. Porcine endogenous retroviruses and xenotransplantation, 2021. Viruses. 2021, 13(11): 2156.
All products and services are intended for Research Use Only, and NOT to be used in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

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