Construction and biological properties of yellow fever 17D/dengue type 1 recombinant virus

G P Mateu, R S Marchevsky, F Liprandi, M C Bonaldo, E S F Coutinho, M Dieudonné, E Caride, A V Jabor, M S Freire, R Galler
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2007, 101 (3): 289-98
Dengue virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is one of the most formidable public health threats in tropical and subtropical regions. As yet, there is no licensed vaccine to protect against the disease. A chimeric yellow fever (YF) 17D/dengue (DEN) type 1 virus was constructed by replacing the pre-membrane and envelope genes of YF 17D virus with those from DEN 1 VeMir95 virus, a Venezuelan isolate. The chimeric YF 17D/DEN 1 VeMir95 virus was regenerated from full-length infectious clones stably propagated in Escherichia coli by transfection of Vero cells with in vitro transcribed RNA. The chimeric virus proliferated efficiently in Vero cells ( approximately 6.6 log(10) plaque-forming units/ml). The chimeric virus was not neurovirulent to 3-week-old Swiss Webster mice inoculated by the intracerebral route, in contrast to the YF 17DD vaccine strain that was lethal for 90% of the mice. The YF 17D/DEN 1 virus at Passage 6 was more attenuated for rhesus monkeys than the YF 17DD commercial vaccine after intracerebral inoculation according to the standard neurovirulence test. This virus is a potential candidate to be included in a tetravalent DEN vaccine formulation. The availability of the cloned cDNA allows further structure/function studies on the viral envelope.

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