- Scientific Papers
Establishment of a Nipah virus rescue system.
Nipah virus (NiV), a paramyxovirus, was first discovered in Malaysia in 1998 in an outbreak of infection in pigs and humans and incurred a high fatality rate in humans. Fruit bats, living in vast areas extending from India to the western Pacific, were identified as the natural reservoir of the virus. However, the mechanisms that resulted in severe pathogenicity in humans (up to 70% mortality) and that enabled crossing the species barrier were not known. In this study, we established a system that enabled the rescue of replicating NiVs from a cloned DNA by cotransfection of a constructed full-length cDNA clone and supporting plasmids coding virus nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and polymerase with the infection of the recombinant vaccinia virus, MVAGKT7, expressing T7 RNA polymerase. The rescued NiV (rNiV), by using the newly developed reverse genetics system, showed properties in vitro that were similar to the parent virus and retained the severe pathogenicity in a previously established animal model by experimental infection. A recombinant NiV was also developed, expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (rNiV-EGFP). Using the virus, permissibility of NiV was compared with the presence of a known cellular receptor, ephrin B2, in a number of cell lines of different origins. Interestingly, two cell lines expressing ephrin B2 were not susceptible for rNiV-EGFP, indicating that additional factors are clearly required for full NiV replication. The reverse genetics for NiV will provide a powerful tool for the analysis of the molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity and cross-species infection.