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Virology. 2005 Nov 25;342(2):167-76. Epub 2005 Sep 15.

Yellow fever virus strains Asibi and 17D-204 infect human umbilical cord endothelial cells and induce novel changes in gene expression.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


Yellow fever (YF) is a zoonotic infection with more than 200,000 cases reported annually. Relatively little is known about YF pathogenesis in humans. In this study, we demonstrate that human vascular endothelial cells are susceptible to infection with wild-type and vaccine strains of the YFV and that these infections lead to a differential cellular response to infection. The infection of endothelial cells with either virus resulted in a significant induction of interferon-inducible genes p 78 and Cig 5 while wild-type virus induced a much more pronounced IL 6 and Bc l2 response than did the vaccine strain. Both viruses induced RANTES gene expression, but only the wild-type virus had corresponding increases in RANTES protein expression. The results demonstrate that the wild-type and vaccine strains of YFV elicit significantly different responses to infection in endothelial cells, despite being nearly identical genetically. These differences may account for the attenuated phenotype of the YFV vaccine strain, though the mechanism remains unclear. These data also point to a role for vascular endothelial cells in YF hemorrhagic fever and also suggest that IL 6 may play a role in increased viral pathogenesis, perhaps by influencing coagulation via release of coagulation co-factors such as fibrin or fibrinogen.

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