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Virus Genes. 2010 Apr;40(2):200-11. doi: 10.1007/s11262-010-0448-9. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Growth kinetic analysis of bi-recombinant poliovirus vaccine strains.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology, Microbiology-Virology Laboratory, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Ploutonos 26 & Aiolou, 41221 Larissa, Greece.


Attenuated strains of Sabin poliovirus vaccine replicate in the human gut and in rare cases may cause vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP). Mutations at specific sites of the genome and recombination between Sabin strains may result in the loss of the attenuated phenotype of OPV (Oral Poliovirus Vaccine) strains and the acquisition of traits characteristic of wild polioviruses, such as increased neurovirulence and loss of temperature sensitivity. In this study, we determined the phenotypic traits such as temperature sensitivity and growth kinetics of eight OPV isolates (six bi-recombinant and two non-recombinant). The growth phenotype of each isolate as well as of Sabin vaccine strains in Hep2 cell line at two different temperatures (37 and 40 degrees C) was evaluated using two different assays, RCT test (Reproductive Capacity at different Temperatures) and one-step growth curve analysis. Moreover, the nucleotide and amino acid positions in the genomes of the isolates that have been identified as being involved in the attenuated and thermo sensitive phenotype of Sabin vaccine strains were investigated. Mutations that result in loss of the attenuated and thermo sensitive phenotype of Sabin vaccine strains were identified in the genomes of all isolates. Both mutations and recombination events correlated well with the reverted phenotypic traits of OPV-derivatives. In the post-eradication era of wild polioviruses, the identification and the characterization (genomic and phenotypic) of vaccine-derived polioviruses become increasingly important in order to prevent cases or even outbreaks of paralytic poliomyelitis caused by neurovirulent strains.

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