We previously reported mutations in North American West Nile viruses (WNVs) with a small-plaque (sp), temperature-sensitive (ts), and/or mouse-attenuated (att) phenotype. Using an infectious clone, site-directed mutations and 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) exchanges were introduced into the WNV NY99 genome. Characterization of mutants demonstrated that a combination of mutations involving the NS4B protein (E249G) together with either a mutation in the NS5 protein (A804V) or three mutations in the 3′UTR (A10596G, C10774U, A10799G) produced sp, ts, and/or att variants. These results suggested that the discovery of North American WNV-phenotypic variants is rare because of the apparent requirement of concurrent polygenic mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science