Author(s): Flick R, Flick K, Feldmann H, Elgh F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The widespread geographical distribution of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus (more than 30 countries) and its ability to produce severe human disease with high mortality rates (up to 60\%) make CCHF a major public health concern worldwide. We describe here the successful establishment of a reverse genetics technology for CCHF virus, a member of the genus Nairovirus, family BUNYAVIRIDAE: The RNA polymerase I (pol I) system was used to generate artificial viral RNA genome segments (minigenomes), which contained different reporter genes in antisense (virus RNA) or sense (virus-complementary RNA) orientation flanked by the noncoding regions of the CCHF virus S segment. Reporter gene expression was observed in different eukaryotic cell lines following transfection and subsequent superinfection with CCHF virus, confirming encapsidation, transcription, and replication of the pol I-derived minigenomes. The successful transfer of reporter gene activity to fresh cells demonstrated the generation of recombinant CCHF viruses, thereby confirming the packaging of the pol I-derived minigenomes into progeny viruses. The system offers a unique opportunity to study the biology of nairoviruses and to develop therapeutic and prophylactic measures against CCHF infections. In addition, we demonstrated for the first time that the human pol I system can be used to develop reverse genetics approaches for viruses in the family BUNYAVIRIDAE: This is important since it might facilitate the manipulation of bunyaviruses with cell and host tropisms restricted to primates.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques