The role of reverse genetics systems in determining filovirus pathogenicity

S. Theriault12, A. Groseth12, H. Artsob12, and H. Feldmann12

1 National Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 2Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Summary. The family Filoviridae is comprised of two genera: Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus. To date minigenome systems have been developed for two Ebola viruses (Reston ebolavirus and Zaire ebolavirus [ZEBOV]) as well as for Lake Victoria marburgvirus, the sole member of the Marburgvirus genus. The use of these minigenome systems has helped characterize functions for many viral proteins in both genera and have provided valuable insight towards the development of an infectious clone system in the case of ZEBOV. The recent development of two such infectious clone systems for ZEBOV now allow effective strategies for experimental mutagenesis to study the biology and pathogenesis of one of the most lethal human pathogens.

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