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Interview with a Chinese author

Since launch, PLoS ONE has published the work of over 23,000 authors worldwide, including many from China.

As part of our campaign to highlight publications which have received good article level metrics (such as citations as counted by Google Scholar), I asked a corresponding Chinese author, Tian Kegong, Director of the Veterinary Diagnosis Lab, China Animal Disease Control Center Beijing, PR of China, about his experiences of publishing the paper “Emergence of Fatal PRRSV Variants: Unparalleled Outbreaks of Atypical PRRS in China and Molecular Dissection of the Unique Hallmark” by Tiang et al, with us.

Q. Why did your team choose PLoS ONE to publish this work?

A. PLoS Journals have a good reputation in the field of science – we were glad that our paper could be published in PLoS ONE. In addition, Open Access makes our study, which is vitally crucial for other governments and scientists to defend against the epidemic of PRRS in China, available to everyone, anywhere. The online commenting tool that can be used after publication provides a platform to exchange ideas – this is crucial for us and offered the opportunity to facilitate cooperation between other scientists and my team in the field of PRRSV.

Q. Could you comment on the topic of this paper and why you think it was well received?

A. I think the article was appreciated because it covered a reasonable amount of important scientific ground. 1. The pathogenesis of so-called "high fever " disease, which spread to more than 10 provinces and affected over 2,000,000 pigs with about 400,000 fatal cases, was first determined and reported in the form of academic publication. This study helped other scientists in the field to become oriented to the current research direction. 2. This paper also brought forward the concept of highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV) for the first time. Based on the systematical study including the clinical feature, histopathology, molecular epidemiology and molecular virology, some special features were found that were quite different from the typical PRRSV isolates, such as high fever, high mortality and two distinct deletions in the non-structural protein 2 (NSP2). 3. The JXA1 PRRSV strain, mentioned in this paper, was the seed virus developed for a inactivated vaccine that was the key role to control the epidemic of HP-PRRSV in the past year, and a attenuated vaccine that had passed the evaluation of National Animal clinical trial. The inactivated vaccine had received a temporary certificate of veterinary drugs. 4. We had successfully developed two HP-PRRSV vaccine including the inactivated vaccine and attenuated vaccine, which played an important role in the controlling the disease over the past year. Meanwhile, the RT-PCR and Real-Time fluorescent PCR detection methods had also been established to monitor epidemiology of HP-PRRSV from 2006 to 2008, and the characteristics of HP-PRRSV virulence and entire genome sequence data were got and analyzed through newly isolated virus in the interim.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. At present, we are focusing on the virulence determinants and genetic evolution of HP-PRRSV. a) The entire genomes sequence data were compared and analyzed between the JXA1 strain , its cell-induced virus, newly isolated virus of HP-PRRSV, and other typical isolates; b) The HP-PRRSV infectious clone are being established to explore the pathogenic mechanism through Reverse Genetics.

Q. What was your experience of publishing with us like, and would you do it again?

A. I was really impressed by the experience of the rigorous editorial process and constructive comments, supplied by good editors and good reviewers. These undoubtedly improved our manuscript. The quick service ensured that the research was published in good time. Thus, we’d like to do it again. We are willing to contribute our latest work to your journal. We hope to establish a good long-term cooperative relationship in the future, and show our best work in PLoS ONE.

We are happy to publish work from China and invite you to submit your research wherever you live.

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