Sindbis virus mutants selected for rapid growth in cell culture display attenuated virulence in animals

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  27 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4660, pp. 424-427
DOI: 10.1126/science.6204381


Mutants of Sindbis virus were selected for rapid growth in baby hamster kidney (BHK) cell cultures and screened for attenuation of virulence in suckling mice. Comparisons among independently isolated virulent and attenuated strains, as well as a classical reversion analysis, showed that accelerated penetration of BHK cells was correlated with attenuation in vivo. Both phenotypic changes resulted from a reorganization of virion structure as detected by monoclonal antibodies. These results suggest that mutants selected for rapid growth in cell culture may be useful as attenuated vaccines and for studies of the molecular basis of virus pathogenesis.