Construction and characterization of a second-generation pseudoinfectious West Nile virus vaccine propagated using a new cultivation system

Douglas G. Widman, Tomohiro Ishikawa, Rafik Fayzulin, Nigel Bourne, Peter W. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Safer vaccines are needed to prevent flavivirus diseases. To help develop these products we have produced a pseudoinfectious West Nile virus (WNV) lacking a functional C gene which we have named RepliVAX WN. Here we demonstrate that RepliVAX WN can be safely propagated at high titer in BHK cells and vaccine-certified Vero cells engineered to stably express the C protein needed to trans-complement RepliVAX WN growth. Using these BHK cells we selected a better growing mutant RepliVAX WN population and used this to generate a second-generation RepliVAX WN (RepliVAX WN.2). RepliVAX WN.2 grown in these C-expressing cell lines safely elicit strong protective immunity against WNV disease in mice and hamsters. Taken together, these results indicate the clinical utility of RepliVAX WN.2 as a vaccine candidate against West Nile encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2762-2771
Number of pages10
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 23 2008



  • Single-cycle virus
  • Subviral particles
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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