Establishment of a reverse genetics system for Schmallenberg virus, a newly emerged orthobunyavirus in Europe

Elliott, R.M., Blakqori, G., van Knippenberg, I.C., Koudriakova, E., Li, P., McLees, A., Shi, X. and Szemiel, A.M. (2013) Establishment of a reverse genetics system for Schmallenberg virus, a newly emerged orthobunyavirus in Europe. Journal of General Virology, 94(4), pp. 851-859. (doi: 10.1099/vir.0.049981-0)

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Abstract

Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is a newly emerged orthobunyavirus that has caused widespread disease in cattle, sheep and goats in Europe. Like other orthobunyaviruses, SBV is characterized by a tripartite negative-sense RNA genome that encodes four structural and two non-structural proteins. This study showed that SBV has a wide in vitro host range, and that BHK-21 cells are a convenient host for both SBV propagation and assay by plaque titration. The SBV genome segments were cloned as cDNA and a three-plasmid rescue system was established to recover infectious virus. Recombinant virus behaved similarly in cell culture to authentic virus. The ORF for the non-structural NSs protein, encoded on the smallest genome segment, was disrupted by introduction of translation stop codons in the appropriate cDNA, and when this plasmid was used in reverse genetics, a recombinant virus that lacked NSs expression was recovered. This virus had reduced capacity to shut-off host-cell protein synthesis compared with the wild-type virus. In addition, the NSs-deleted virus induced interferon (IFN) in cells, indicating that, like other orthobunyaviruses, NSs functions as an IFN antagonist, most probably by globally inhibiting host-cell metabolism. The development of a robust reverse genetics system for SBV will facilitate investigation of its pathogenic mechanisms as well as the creation of attenuated strains that could be candidate vaccines.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Elliott, Professor Richard and Shi, Dr Xiaohong
Authors: Elliott, R.M., Blakqori, G., van Knippenberg, I.C., Koudriakova, E., Li, P., McLees, A., Shi, X., and Szemiel, A.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of General Virology
Publisher:Society for General Microbiology
ISSN:0022-1317
ISSN (Online):1465-2099
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 SGM
First Published:First published in Journal of General Virology 94(4):851-859
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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