Dengue virulence and fitness are important factors that determine disease outcome. However, dengue virus (DENV) molecular biology and pathogenesis are not completely elucidated. New insights on those mechanisms have been facilitated by the development of reverse genetic systems in the past decades. Unfortunately, instability of flavivirus genomes cloned in Escherichia coli
has been a major problem in these systems. Here, we describe the development of a complete reverse genetics system, based on the construction of an infectious clone and replicon for a low passage DENV-3 genotype III of a clinical isolate. Both constructs were assembled into a newly designed yeast-E. coli
shuttle vector by homologous recombination technique and propagated in yeast to prevent any possible genome instability in E. coli
. RNA transcripts derived from the infectious clone are infectious upon transfection into BHK-21 cells even after repeated passages of the plasmid in yeast. Transcript-derived DENV-3 exhibited growth kinetics, focus
formation size comparable to original DENV-3 in mosquito C6/36 cell culture. In vitro characterisation of DENV-3 replicon confirmed its identity and ability to replicate transiently in BHK-21 cells. The reverse genetics system reported here is a valuable tool that will facilitate further molecular studies in DENV replication, virus attenuation and pathogenesis.