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J Virol. Oct 1990; 64(10): 4922–4929.
PMCID: PMC247983

Mapping of mutations associated with neurovirulence in monkeys infected with Sabin 1 poliovirus revertants selected at high temperature.

Abstract

Poliovirus type 1 neurovirulence is difficult to analyze because of the 56 mutations which differentiate the neurovirulent Mahoney strain from the attenuated Sabin strain. We have isolated four neurovirulent mutants which differ from the temperature-sensitive parental Sabin 1 strain by only a few mutations, using selection for temperature resistance: mutant S(1)37C1 was isolated at 37.5 degrees C, S(1)38C5 was isolated at 38.5 degrees C, and S(1)39C6 and S(1)39C10 were isolated at 39.5 degrees C. All four mutants had a positive reproductive capacity at supraoptimal temperature (Rct+ phenotype). Mutant S(1)37C1 induced paralysis in two of four cynomolgus monkeys, and the three other mutants induced paralysis in four of four monkeys. The lesion score increased from the S(1)37C1 mutant to the S(1)39 mutants. To map the mutations associated with thermoresistance and neurovirulence, we sequenced all regions in which the Sabin 1 genome differs from the Mahoney genome. The S(1)37C1 mutant had one mutation in the 5' noncoding region and another in the 3' noncoding region. Mutant S(1)38C5 had these mutations plus another mutation in the 3D polymerase gene. The S(1)39 mutants had three additional mutations in the capsid protein region. The mutations were located at positions at which the Sabin 1 and Mahoney genomes differ, except for the mutation in the 5' noncoding region. The noncoding-region mutations apparently confer a low degree of neurovirulence. The 3D polymerase mutation, which distinguishes S(1)38C5 and S(1)39 mutants from S(1)37C1, is probably responsible for the high neurovirulence of S(1)38C5 and S(1)39 mutants. The capsid region mutations may contribute to the neurovirulence of the S(1)39 mutants, which was the highest among the mutants.

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