Research ArticleFLAVIVIRUSES

A recombinant platform for flavivirus vaccines and diagnostics using chimeras of a new insect-specific virus

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Dec 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 522, eaax7888
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax7888

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Fighting flavi with flavi

Insect-transmitted flaviviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever in humans and contribute to morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hobson-Peters et al. isolated a new flavivirus from mosquitoes in Australia that can only infect insect cells. Binjari virus permits swapping of structural proteins from other flaviviruses such as dengue or Zika virus. The chimeric viruses grow to high titers in insect cells but do not infect human cells. They can be used to efficiently produce vaccines or antigens for diagnostics, overcoming safety and manufacturing hurdles of other approaches. A chimeric Binjari virus platform could facilitate and possibly accelerate development of much needed diagnostics and interventions for flaviviruses.

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