(1/339) Vectors of Chikungunya virus in Senegal: current data and transmission cycles.

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to human beings by Aedes genus mosquitoes. From 1972 to 1986 in Kedougou, Senegal, 178 Chikungunya virus strains were isolated from gallery forest mosquitoes, with most of them isolated from Ae. furcifer-taylori (129 strains), Ae. luteocephalus (27 strains), and Ae. dalzieli (12 strains). The characteristics of the sylvatic transmission cycle are a circulation periodicity with silent intervals that last approximately three years. Few epidemics of this disease have been reported in Senegal. The most recent one occurred in 1996 in Kaffrine where two Chikungunya virus strains were isolated from Ae. aegypti. The retrospective analysis of viral isolates from mosquitoes, wild vertebrates, and humans allowed to us to characterize Chikungunya virus transmission cycles in Senegal and to compare them with those of yellow fever virus.  (+info)

(2/339) Yellow fever/Japanese encephalitis chimeric viruses: construction and biological properties.

A system has been developed for generating chimeric yellow fever/Japanese encephalitis (YF/JE) viruses from cDNA templates encoding the structural proteins prM and E of JE virus within the backbone of a molecular clone of the YF17D strain. Chimeric viruses incorporating the proteins of two JE strains, SA14-14-2 (human vaccine strain) and JE Nakayama (JE-N [virulent mouse brain-passaged strain]), were studied in cell culture and laboratory mice. The JE envelope protein (E) retained antigenic and biological properties when expressed with its prM protein together with the YF capsid; however, viable chimeric viruses incorporating the entire JE structural region (C-prM-E) could not be obtained. YF/JE(prM-E) chimeric viruses grew efficiently in cells of vertebrate or mosquito origin compared to the parental viruses. The YF/JE SA14-14-2 virus was unable to kill young adult mice by intracerebral challenge, even at doses of 10(6) PFU. In contrast, the YF/JE-N virus was neurovirulent, but the phenotype resembled parental YF virus rather than JE-N. Ten predicted amino acid differences distinguish the JE E proteins of the two chimeric viruses, therefore implicating one or more residues as virus-specific determinants of mouse neurovirulence in this chimeric system. This study indicates the feasibility of expressing protective antigens of JE virus in the context of a live, attenuated flavivirus vaccine strain (YF17D) and also establishes a genetic system for investigating the molecular basis for neurovirulence determinants encoded within the JE E protein.  (+info)

(3/339) Genetic interaction of flavivirus nonstructural proteins NS1 and NS4A as a determinant of replicase function.

Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) of yellow fever virus (YF) is a glycoprotein localized to extracytoplasmic compartments within infected cells. We have previously shown that NS1 can be supplied in trans and is required for viral RNA replication, a process thought to occur in membrane-bound cytoplasmic complexes. Here we report that the NS1 gene from a related virus, dengue virus (DEN), is unable to function in the process of YF RNA replication. This virus-specific incompatibility leads to a lack of initial minus-strand accumulation, suggesting that DEN NS1 is unable to productively interact with the YF replicase. Based on a YF deletion mutant that requires NS1 in trans, a genetic screen for suppressor mutants was used to select virus variants able to utilize DEN NS1. In three independent selections, a single mutation was mapped to the NS4A gene, which encodes a putative transmembrane replicase component. This mutation, as well as several additional mutations, was engineered into the NS1-deficient genome and confirmed a genetic interaction between NS1 and NS4A. These findings suggest a potential mechanism for integrating NS1 into the cytoplasmic process of RNA replication.  (+info)

(4/339) Immunogenicity, genetic stability, and protective efficacy of a recombinant, chimeric yellow fever-Japanese encephalitis virus (ChimeriVax-JE) as a live, attenuated vaccine candidate against Japanese encephalitis.

Yellow fever (YF) 17D vaccine virus, having a 60-year history of safe and effective use, is an ideal vector to deliver heterologous genes from other medically important flaviviruses. A chimeric YF/Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus (ChimeriVax-JE virus) was constructed by insertion of the premembrane and envelope (prME) genes of an attenuated human vaccine strain (SA14-14-2) of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus between core and nonstructural (NS) genes of a YF 17D infectious clone. The virus grew to high titers in cell cultures and was not neurovirulent for 3- to 4-week-old mice at doses /=10(3) pfu of ChimeriVax-JE virus were solidly protected against intraperitoneal challenge with a virulent JE virus. Genetic stability of the chimera was assessed by sequential passages in cell cultures or in mouse brain. All attenuating residues and the avirulent phenotype were preserved after 18 passages in cell cultures or 6 passages in mouse brains.  (+info)

(5/339) First case of yellow fever in French Guiana since 1902.

The first case of yellow fever in French Guiana since 1902 was reported in March 1998. The yellow fever virus genome was detected in postmortem liver biopsies by seminested polymerase chain reaction. Sequence analysis showed that this strain was most closely related to strains from Brazil and Ecuador.  (+info)

(6/339) Comparison of the immunogenicity and safety of two 17D yellow fever vaccines.

As part of the clinical validation process of a new working seed of a licensed yellow fever vaccine (new working seed PV26, Stamaril; Pasteur Merieux Connaught, Lyon, France), the immunogenicity and safety of two batches of this vaccine (PM-YF) were compared with those of another commercially available vaccine (Arilvax; Evans Medical-Wellcome, Liverpool, United Kingdom) in 211 healthy adults. While the geometric mean titer values at days 10-14 and day 28 after vaccination were higher in the PM-YF group, the vaccines provided equivalent seroprotection (titers > or = 1/10) one month after a single vaccine dose (100% PM-YF versus 99% W-YF; P = 0.001, by one-sided equivalence test). Both vaccines were safe. There were no serious local or systemic reactions reported, nor any clinically significant hepatic function abnormalities associated with the use of either vaccine. These two 17D yellow fever vaccines from different European vaccine manufacturers were highly immunogenic and safe, and provided equivalent seroprotection.  (+info)

(7/339) Molecular and biological changes associated with HeLa cell attenuation of wild-type yellow fever virus.

Six passages of the mosquito-borne flavivirus yellow fever (YF) wild-type strain Asibi in HeLa cells attenuated the virus for monkeys and newborn mice and resulted in loss of mosquito competence. Attenuation after the passage in HeLa cells was not unique to YF virus strain Asibi as demonstrated by the HeLa passage attenuation of wild-type YF virus strain French viscerotropic virus and YF vaccine virus 17D-204 for newborn mice. In contrast, wild-type strain Dakar 1279 and the French neurotropic vaccine virus remained virulent for newborn mice after six passages in HeLa cells. Thus not all strains of YF virus can be attenuated by passage in HeLa cells. Attenuation of YF virus strains Asibi and French viscerotropic virus was accompanied by alterations in the antigenic and biological properties of the viruses, including changes to envelope protein epitopes. Attenuation for newborn mice was coincidental with the acquisition by the HeLa-passaged viruses of the vaccine-specific envelope protein epitope recognized by monoclonal antibody H5. This suggests that this conformational change may play a role in the attenuation process. Wild-type Dakar 1279, which remained virulent for newborn mice after passage in HeLa cells, retained its wild-type antigenic character. The genome of Asibi HeLa p6 virus differed from wild-type Asibi virus by 29 nucleotides that encoded 10 amino acid substitutions: 5 in the envelope protein, 1 in NS2A, 3 in NS4B, and 1 in NS5. The substitution at NS4B-95 is seen in three different attenuation processes of wild-type YF virus, leading us to speculate that it is involved in the attenuation of virulence of wild-type strain Asibi.  (+info)

(8/339) Mutagenesis of the signal sequence of yellow fever virus prM protein: enhancement of signalase cleavage In vitro is lethal for virus production.

Proteolytic processing at the C-prM junction in the flavivirus polyprotein involves coordinated cleavages at the cytoplasmic and luminal sides of an internal signal sequence. We have introduced at the COOH terminus of the yellow fever virus (YFV) prM signal sequence amino acid substitutions (VPQAQA mutation) which uncoupled efficient signal peptidase cleavage of the prM protein from its dependence on prior cleavage in the cytoplasm of the C protein mediated by the viral NS2B-3 protease. Infectivity assays with full-length YFV RNA transcripts showed that the VPQAQA mutation, which enhanced signal peptidase cleavage in vitro, was lethal for infectious virus production. Revertants or second-site mutants were recovered from cells transfected with VPQAQA RNA. Analysis of these viruses revealed that single amino acid substitutions in different domains of the prM signal sequence could restore viability. These variants had growth properties in vertebrate cells which differed only slightly from those of the parent virus, despite efficient signal peptidase cleavage of prM in cell-free expression assays. However, the neurovirulence in mice of the VPQAQA variants was significantly attenuated. This study demonstrates that substitutions in the prM signal sequence which disrupt coordinated cleavages at the C-prM junction can impinge on the biological properties of the mutant viruses. Factors other than the rate of production of prM are vitally controlled by regulated cleavages at this site.  (+info)