An infectious cDNA clone of Murray Valley encephalitis virus prototype strain 1-51 (MVE-1-51) was constructed by stably inserting genome-length cDNA into the low-copy-number plasmid vector pMC18. Designated pMVE-1-51,the clone consisted of genome-length cDNA of MVE-1-51 under the control of a T7 RNA polymerase promoter. The clone was constructed by using existing components of a cDNA library, in addition to cDNA of the 3' terminus derived by RT-PCR of poly(A)tailed viral RNA. Upon comparison with other flavivirus sequences, the previously undetermined sequence of the 3' UTR was found to contain elements conserved throughout the genus Flavivirus. RNA transcribed from pMVE-1-51 and subsequently transfected into BHK-21 cells generated infectious virus. The plaque morphology, replication kinetics and antigenic profile of clone-derived virus (CDV-1-51) was similar to the parental virus in vitro, Furthermore, the virulence properties of CDV-1-51 and MVE-1-51 (LD50 values and mortality profiles) were found to be identical in vivo in the mouse model. Through site-directed mutagenesis, the infectious clone should serve as a valuable tool for investigating the molecular determinants of virulence in MVE virus.
|Journal||Journal of General Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|