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J Virol. 2004 May;78(9):4838-46.

In vitro replication of hepatitis E virus (HEV) genomes and of an HEV replicon expressing green fluorescent protein.

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Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Flow Cytometry Section, Research Technologies Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8009, USA.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA replication occurred in seven of nine primate cell cultures transfected with in vitro transcripts of an infectious cDNA clone. Cell-to-cell spread did not occur in cell cultures, but rhesus monkeys inoculated with lysates of HEV-transfected PLC/PRF/5 and Huh-7 cells became infected with HEV. A replicon with the ORF2 and ORF3 genes deleted and replaced with the green fluorescent protein gene also replicated in the same primate cells that supported the replication of the full-length genome. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis confirmed that the 7mG cap structure was critical for efficient infectivity, although replication could be initiated at a very low level in its absence. HEV virions were also able to infect a limited number of cells of certain lines.

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