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Attenuation of monkeypox virus by deletion of genomic regions

January 15, 2015

Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is an emerging pathogen from Africa that causes disease similar to smallpox. Two clades with different geographic distributions and virulence have been described. Here, we utilized bioinformatic tools to identify genomic regions in MPXV containing multiple virulence genes and explored their roles in pathogenicity; two selected regions were then deleted singularly or in combination. In vitro and in vivostudies indicated that these regions play a significant role in MPXV replication, tissue spread, and mortality in mice. Interestingly, while deletion of either region led to decreased virulence in mice, one region had no effect on in vitro replication. Deletion of both regions simultaneously also reduced cell culture replication and significantly increased the attenuation in vivo over either single deletion. Attenuated MPXV with genomic deletions present a safe and efficacious tool in the study of MPX pathogenesis and in the identification of genetic factors associated with virulence.

Publication Year 2015
Title Attenuation of monkeypox virus by deletion of genomic regions
DOI 10.1016/j.virol.2014.11.009
Authors Juan G. Lopera, Elizabeth A. Falendysz, Tonie E. Rocke, Jorge E. Osorio
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Virology
Index ID 70134831
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center