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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 95, No. s1, 2000, pp. 215-223
Bioline Code: oc00185
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 95, No. s1, 2000, pp. 215-223

 en The Yellow Fever 17D Vaccine Virus as a Vector for the Expression of Foreign Proteins: Development of New Live Flavivirus Vaccines
Myrna C Bonaldo; Philippe S Caufour; Marcos S Freire & Ricardo Galler


The Flaviviridae is a family of about 70 mostly arthropod-borne viruses many of which are major public health problems with members being present in most continents. Among the most important are yellow fever (YF), dengue with its four serotypes and Japanese encephalitis virus. A live attenuated virus is used as a cost effective, safe and efficacious vaccine against YF but no other live flavivirus vaccines have been licensed. The rise of recombinant DNA technology and its application to study flavivirus genome structure and expression has opened new possibilities for flavivirus vaccine development. One new approach is the use of cDNAs encopassing the whole viral genome to generate infectious RNA after in vitro transcription. This methodology allows the genetic mapping of specific viral functions and the design of viral mutants with considerable potential as new live attenuated viruses. The use of infectious cDNA as a carrier for heterologous antigens is gaining importance as chimeric viruses are shown to be viable, immunogenic and less virulent as compared to the parental viruses. The use of DNA to overcome mutation rates intrinsic of RNA virus populations in conjunction with vaccine production in cell culture should improve the reliability and lower the cost for production of live attenuated vaccines. The YF virus despite a long period ignored by researchers probably due to the effectiveness of the vaccine has made a come back, both in nature as human populations grow and reach endemic areas as well as in the laboratory being a suitable model to understand the biology of flaviviruses in general and providing new alternatives for vaccine development through the use of the 17D vaccine strain.

yellow fever virus, 17D vaccine, foreign gene expression, recombinant viruses, vaccine development

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