Technology ID

Development of Mutations Useful for Attenuating Dengue Viruses and Chimeric Dengue Viruses

Lead Inventor
Whitehead, Stephen (NIAID)
Blaney, Joseph (NIAID)
Hanley, Kathryn (NIAID)
Murphy, Brian (NIAID)
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Lead IC
Although flaviviruses cause a great deal of human suffering and economic loss, there is a shortage of effective vaccines. This invention relates to dengue virus mutations that may contribute to the development of improved dengue vaccines. Site directed and random mutagenesis techniques were used to introduce mutations into the dengue virus genome and to assemble a collection of useful mutations for incorporation in recombinant live attenuated dengue virus vaccines. The resulting mutant viruses were screened for several valuable phenotypes, including temperature sensitivity in Vero cells or human liver cells, host cell restriction in mosquito cells or human liver cells, host cell adaptation for improved replication in Vero cells, and attenuation in mice or in mosquitoes. The genetic basis for each observed phenotype was determined by direct sequence analysis of the genome of the mutant virus. Mutations identified through these sequencing efforts have been further evaluated by re-introduction of the identified mutations, singly, or in combination, into recombinant dengue virus and characterization of the resulting recombinant virus for phenotypes. In this manner, a menu of attenuating and growth promoting mutations was developed that is useful in fine-tuning the attenuation and growth characteristics of dengue virus vaccine candidates. The mutations promoting growth in Vero cells have usefulness for the production of live or inactivated dengue virus vaccines.
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