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Virology. 1994 Jul;202(1):370-8.

Microevolution of Sabin 1 strain in vitro and genetic stability of oral poliovirus vaccine.

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Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Mutants consistently accumulating in Sabin 1 poliovirus during serial passaging in vitro were identified by sequence heterogeneity assay and quantitated using mutant analysis by PCR and restriction enzyme cleavage (MAPREC). Only four unstable genomic sites were identified in virus passaged 10 times in African green monkey kidney (AGMK) cells, and eight sites in virus passaged in Vero cells. Mutations accumulated both in untranslated regions of RNA (nucleotides 480, 525 and 7441) and in coding sequences, as missense (nucleotides 1449, 4944, and 6203) or silent (nucleotides 1123 and 1141) mutations. The most prominent selectable mutations were found at complementary nucleotides 480 and 525 of the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the Sabin strain, changing the G:U pair in F-domain to either A:U or G:C variants. These two variants have been shown previously to have an increased neurovirulence in monkeys. The G:C variant accumulated during passage in Vero cells, while A:U variant accumulated in CV-1 cells. Virus passaged in AGMK cells accumulated both variants. Higher temperature (37 instead of 34 degrees) strongly favored selection of mutants in Vero cells, had a smaller effect on mutant accumulation in AGMK cells, and had no effect in CV-1 cells. Monopools of type 1 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) made by seven manufacturers were found to contain both 480-A and 525-C revertants at a combined level of 1.1-2.7%. Viral samples with increased amounts of these revertants had higher neurovirulence in monkeys. Our results suggest that quantitation of these reversions by MAPREC may be prognostic for results of the monkey neurovirulence test (MNVT) and can be used for monitoring type 1 OPV consistency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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