Chimeric chikungunya viruses are nonpathogenic in highly sensitive mouse models but efficiently induce a protective immune response

Eryu Wang, Dal Young Kim, Scott C. Weaver, Ilya Frolov

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

44 Scopus citations


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an important pathogen causing outbreaks of highly debilitating and often chronic, arthralgic human disease. We have designed chimeric alphaviruses encoding CHIKV-specific structural proteins but no structural or nonstructural proteins capable of interfering with development of cellular antiviral response. These chimeras demonstrate a highly attenuated phenotype in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised (A129) mice. However, after a single vaccination, they induced protective immune response against subsequent CHIKV challenge, characterized by high titers of neutralizing antibodies. The rational design of alphavirus genomes provides a strong basis for the development of new recombinant alphaviruses with irreversible, highly attenuated, cell type-restricted phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9249-9252
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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