Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Fengwei Bai, Ph.D.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that is causing significant world-wide health concern. There are currently no treatments or vaccines available for this virus, thus, there is an urgent need to develop a safe and effective vaccine to combat ZIKV infection. Nhumirim virus (NHUV) is also a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus, but it is unable to infect humans and other vertebrate animals, making it an ideal candidate to develop chimeric viral vaccines against other disease-causing flaviviruses, such as ZIKV. In this study, we generated chimeric viruses by replacing envelope (E) gene in the genome of NHUV with ZIKV E gene, which encodes the major viral surface glycoproteins that mediate cellular receptor binding and induce host protective immune responses. The recombinant NHUV genomes were transfected into mosquito C6/36 cells in the forms of plasmids. The transfected cell supernatants were then collected and used to inoculate a new batch of C6/36 cells on day 4 post-transfection. The cell supernatants were continuously passed for five passages on C6/36 cells. Although a cytopathic effect (CPE) was not observed on the days of collection, the presence of the chimeric viral genomes of the chimeric viruses was confirmed by using RT-qPCR measuring ZIKV E and nonstructural gene 1 (NS1) of NHUV. The results of this study indicate the successful generation of chimeric ZNHUV viruses that can be further evaluated in cell culture and in a mouse model as a potentially safe and effective vaccine candidate against ZIKV infection.
Copyright for this thesis is owned by the author. It may be freely accessed by all users. However, any reuse or reproduction not covered by the exceptions of the Fair Use or Educational Use clauses of U.S. Copyright Law or without permission of the copyright holder may be a violation of federal law. Contact the administrator if you have additional questions.
Atobiloye, Mariam A., "Generating Zika Vaccine Candidates Using Nhumirim Virus as a Backbone" (2020). Honors Theses. 708.