Molecular basis of attenuation of neurovirulence of wild-type Japanese encephalitis virus strain SA14

H. Ni, G. J.J. Chang, H. Xie, D. W. Trent, A. D.T. Barrett

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To identify the molecular determinants for attenuation of wild-type Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus strain SA14, the RNA genome of wild-type strain SA14 and its attenuated vaccine virus SA14-2-8 were reverse transcribed, amplified by PCR and sequenced. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of SA14-2-8 vaccine virus with virulent parent SA14 virus and with two other attenuated vaccine viruses derived from SA14 virus (SA14-14-2/PHK and SA14-14-2/PDK) revealed only seven amino acids in the virulent parent SA14 had been substituted in all three attenuated vaccines. Four were in the envelope (E) protein (E-138, E-176, E-315 and E-439), one in non-structural protein 2B (NS2B-63), one in NS3 (NS3-105), and one in NS4B (NS4B-106). The substitutions at E-315 and E-439 arose due to correction of the SA14/CDC sequence published previously by Nitayaphan et al. The mutations in NS2B and NS3 are in functional domains of the trypsin-like serine protease. Attenuation of SA14 virus may therefore, in part, be due to alterations in viral protease activity, which could affect replication of the virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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