Establishment of different plasmid only-based reverse genetics systems for the recovery of African horse sickness virus
Conradie, Andelé M.
Potgieter, Christiaan A.
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In an effort to simplify and expand the utility of African horse sickness virus (AHSV) reverse genetics, different plasmid-based reverse genetics systems were developed. Plasmids containing cDNAs corresponding to each of the full-length double-stranded RNA genome segments of AHSV-4 under control of a T7 RNA polymerase promoter were co-transfected in cells expressing T7 RNA polymerase, and infectious AHSV-4 was recovered. This reverse genetics system was improved by reducing the required plasmids from 10 to five and resulted in enhanced virus recovery. Subsequently, a T7 RNA polymerase expression cassette was incorporated into one of the AHSV-4 rescue plasmids. This modified 5-plasmid set enabled virus recovery in BSR or L929 cells, thus offering the possibility to generate AHSV-4 in any cell line. Moreover, mutant and cross-serotype reassortant viruses were recovered. These plasmid DNA-based reverse genetics systems thus offer new possibilities for investigating AHSV biology and development of designer AHSV vaccine strains