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Vet Res. 2015 Sep 23;46:101. doi: 10.1186/s13567-015-0231-y.

Development of a helper cell-dependent form of peste des petits ruminants virus: a system for making biosafe antigen.

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The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK.
The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK.


Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a viral disease of sheep and goats that is spreading through many countries in the developing world. Work on the virus is often restricted to studies of attenuated vaccine strains or to work in laboratories that have high containment facilities. We have created a helper cell dependent form of PPR virus by removing the entire RNA polymerase gene and complementing it with polymerase made constitutively in a cell line. The resultant L-deleted virus grows efficiently in the L-expressing cell line but not in other cells. Virus made with this system is indistinguishable from normal virus when used in diagnostic assays, and can be grown in normal facilities without the need for high level biocontainment. The L-deleted virus will thus make a positive contribution to the control and study of this important disease.

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