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J Infect Dis. 2007 Nov 15;196 Suppl 2:S313-22.

In vitro and in vivo characterization of recombinant Ebola viruses expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein.

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Department of Special Pathogens, International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


To facilitate an understanding of the molecular aspects of the pathogenesis of Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) infection, we generated 2 different recombinant viruses expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) from additional transcription units inserted at different positions in the virus genome. These viruses showed in vitro phenotypes similar to that of wild-type ZEBOV (wt-ZEBOV) and were stable over multiple passages. Infection with one of the viruses expressing eGFP produced only mild disease in rhesus macaques, demonstrating a marked attenuation in this animal model. However, in mice lacking signal transducer and activator of transcription 1, both viruses expressing eGFP caused lethal cases of disease that were moderately attenuated, compared with that caused by wt-ZEBOV. In mice, viral replication could be easily tracked by the detection of eGFP-positive cells in tissues, by use of flow cytometry. These findings demonstrate that the incorporation of a foreign gene will attenuate ZEBOV in vivo but that these viruses still have potential for in vitro and in vivo research applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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