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Viruses 2016, 8(7), 197;

Reporter-Expressing, Replicating-Competent Recombinant Arenaviruses

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander Ploss
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Replication-Competent Reporter-Expressing Viruses)
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Several arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever (HF) disease in humans and pose an important public health problem in their endemic regions. To date, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed vaccines are available to combat human arenavirus infections, and current anti-arenaviral drug therapy is limited to an off-label use of ribavirin that is only partially effective. The development of arenavirus reverse genetic approaches has provided investigators with a novel and powerful approach for the study of arenavirus biology including virus–host interactions underlying arenavirus induced disease. The use of cell-based minigenome systems has allowed examining the cis- and trans-acting factors involved in arenavirus replication and transcription, as well as particle assembly and budding. Likewise, it is now feasible to rescue infectious arenaviruses containing predetermined mutations in their genomes to investigate virus-host interactions and mechanisms of pathogenesis. The use of reverse genetics approaches has also allowed the generation of recombinant arenaviruses expressing additional genes of interest. These advances in arenavirus molecular genetics have also facilitated the implementation of novel screens to identify anti-arenaviral drugs, and the development of novel strategies for the generation of arenavirus live-attenuated vaccines. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on reporter-expressing, replicating-competent arenaviruses harboring reporter genes in different locations of the viral genome and their use for studying and understanding arenavirus biology and the identification of anti-arenaviral drugs to combat these important human pathogens. View Full-Text
Keywords: arenavirus; hemorrhagic fever; reporter genes; reverse genetic techniques; vaccines; antivirals arenavirus; hemorrhagic fever; reporter genes; reverse genetic techniques; vaccines; antivirals

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Martínez-Sobrido, L.; de la Torre, J.C. Reporter-Expressing, Replicating-Competent Recombinant Arenaviruses. Viruses 2016, 8, 197.

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