A Full-Length Infectious cDNA Clone of Zika Virus from the 2015 Epidemic in Brazil as a Genetic Platform for Studies of Virus-Host Interactions and Vaccine Development

An arthropod-borne virus, Zika virus (ZIKV), has recently emerged as a major human pathogen. Associated with complications during perinatal development and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults, ZIKV raises new challenges for understanding the molecular determinants of flavivirus pathogenesis. This underscores the necessity for the development of a reverse genetic system based on an epidemic ZIKV strain. This technology relates to the generation and characterization in cell cultures of an infectious cDNA clone of ZIKV isolated from the 2015 epidemic in Brazil. The cDNA-derived ZIKV replicated efficiently in a variety of cell lines, including those of both neuronal and placental origin. It was observed that the growth of cDNA-derived virus was attenuated compared to the growth of the parental isolate in most cell lines, which correlates with substantial differences in sequence heterogeneity between these viruses that were determined by deep-sequencing analysis. Moreover, these results indicate that caution should be exercised when interpreting the results of reverse-genetics experiments in attempts to accurately predict the biology of natural viruses. Finally, a Vero cell-adapted cDNA clone of ZIKV was generated that can be used as a convenient platform for studies aimed at the development of ZIKV vaccines (live attenuated and inactivated) and therapeutics.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Diagnostics
  • Vaccines
  • Development of therapeutics
  • Use in development of flavivirus vaccines
  • Virus growth in various cell lines
  • Developing and developed world research tool


Alexander Pletnev (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Konstantin Tsetsarkin (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Research Materials

Tsetsarkin KA, et al. PMID 27555311

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize vaccine(s) or diagnostics for prophylaxis against flavivirus infections. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Peter Soukas, J.D. at peter.soukas@nih.gov or 301-594-8730.

Licensing Contact:
Peter Soukas, J.D.
Email: peter.soukas@nih.gov
Phone: 301-496-2644

OTT Reference No: E-114-2017-0
Updated: Apr 10, 2017