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Yellow fever virus envelope protein expressed in insect cells is capable of syncytium formation in lepidopteran cells and could be used for immunodetection of YFV in human sera

DOI: 10.1186/1743-422x-8-261

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Insect cells infected with vSynYFE showed syncytium formation, which is a cytopathic effect characteristic of flavivirus infection and expressed a polypeptide of around 54 kDa, which corresponds to the expected size of the recombinant E protein. Furthermore, the recombinant E protein expression was also confirmed by fluorescence microscopy of vSynYFE-infected insect cells. Total vSynYFE-infected insect extracts used as antigens detected the presence of antibodies for yellow fever virus in human sera derived from yellow fever-infected patients in an immunoassay and did not cross react with sera from dengue virus-infected patients.The E protein expressed by the recombinant baculovirus in insect cells is antigenically similar to the wild protein and it may be useful for different medical applications, from improved diagnosis of the disease to source of antigens for the development of a subunit vaccine.Yellow fever (YF) is an haemorragic disease caused by a virus and transmitted by mosquitoes through two distinct cycles: the urban YF, transmitted by Aedes aegypti and the sylvatic YF, maintained in a enzootic cycle by Haemagogus and Sabethes mosquitoes with monkeys as main hosts [1]. No cases of urban YF have been reported in Brazil since 1942 [2]. The sylvatic YF is mostly restricted to wild and rural areas but recent outbreaks amongst human visitors and travelers together with the reinfestation of urban areas with the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti have concerned health authorities about the reurbanization of YF.The main mechanisms for YF control consists of vaccination and insect vector control in urban areas. Yet, in 2008, 228 YF epizootic cases were reported and 64 cases of dead monkeys ocurred just in January. These are more than the 104 YF epizootic cases and the 17 cases of dead monkeys during the whole year of 2007. Until July of the same year, 45 cases of YF amongst humans were confirmed with 25 deaths, which represents 55,6% case fatality rate [3]. Similar to w


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