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The role of the poly(A) tract in the replication and virulence of tick-borne encephalitis virus
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
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2016 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, 39265Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a flavivirus transmitted to humans, usually via tick bites. The virus causes tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in humans, and symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe and long-lasting sequelae, including permanent brain damage. It has been suggested that within the population of viruses transmitted to the mammalian host, quasispecies with neurotropic properties might become dominant in the host resulting in neurological symptoms. We previously demonstrated the existence of TBEV variants with variable poly(A) tracts within a single blood-fed tick. To characterize the role of the poly(A) tract in TBEV replication and virulence, we generated infectious clones of Toro-2003 with the wild-type (A)(3)C(A)(6) sequence (Toro-6A) or with a modified (A)(3)C(A)(38) sequence (Toro-38A). Toro-38A replicated poorly compared to Toro-6A in cell culture, but Toro-38A was more virulent than Toro-6A in a mouse model of TBE. Next-generation sequencing of TBEV genomes after passaging in cell culture and/or mouse brain revealed mutations in specific genomic regions and the presence of quasispecies that might contribute to the observed differences in virulence. These data suggest a role for quasispecies development within the poly(A) tract as a virulence determinant for TBEV in mice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, 39265
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Infectious Medicine
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129706DOI: 10.1038/srep39265ISI: 000389971500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-129706DiVA: diva2:1063638
Available from: 2017-01-10 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Lee, Yi-PingNilsson, EmmaLindqvist, RichardÖverby, Anna K.
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