Reverse genetics system for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus

Brennan, B. , Li, P. , Zhang, S., Li, A., Liang, M., Li, D. and Elliott, R. M. (2014) Reverse genetics system for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus. Journal of Virology, 89(6), pp. 3026-3037. (doi:10.1128/JVI.03432-14) (PMID:25552716)

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Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) is an emerging tick-borne pathogen that was first reported in China in 2009. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral genome showed that SFTS virus represents a new lineage within the Phlebovirus genus, distinct from the existing sandfly fever and Uukuniemi virus groups, in the family Bunyaviridae. SFTS disease is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms, chills, joint pain, myalgia, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and some hemorrhagic manifestations with a case fatality rate of about 2 to 15%. Here we report the development of reverse genetics systems to study STFSV replication and pathogenesis. We developed and optimized functional T7 polymerase-based M- and S-segment minigenome assays, which revealed errors in the published terminal sequences of the S segment of the Hubei 29 strain of SFTSV. We then generated recombinant viruses from cloned cDNAs prepared to the antigenomic RNAs both of the minimally passaged virus (HB29) and of a cell culture-adapted strain designated HB29pp. The growth properties, pattern of viral protein synthesis, and subcellular localization of viral N and NSs proteins of wild-type HB29pp (wtHB29pp) and recombinant HB29pp viruses were indistinguishable. We also show that the viruses fail to shut off host cell polypeptide production. The robust reverse genetics system described will be a valuable tool for the design of therapeutics and the development of killed and attenuated vaccines against this important emerging pathogen.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Li, Dr Ping and Elliott, Professor Richard and Brennan, Dr Benjamin
Authors: Brennan, B., Li, P., Zhang, S., Li, A., Liang, M., Li, D., and Elliott, R. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1098-5514

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