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Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald (2020)

Towards vaccine development against African swine fever virus in Eastern and Southern Africa

Tonny Kabuuka

Titre : Towards vaccine development against African swine fever virus in Eastern and Southern Africa

Versuche zur Entwicklung von Impfstoffen gegen das Virus der Afrikanischen Schweinepest in Ost- und Südafrika

Auteur : Tonny Kabuuka

Université de soutenance : Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald

Grade : Doktors der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.) 2020

Résumé partiel
To enable control of African swine fever (ASF) in Eastern and Southern Africa, prototype live vaccine candidates were generated by targeted gene deletions from a Kenyan genotype IX ASF virus (ASFV). It was attempted to delete known nonessential genes involved in virulence (encoding TK, dUTPase, CD2v, 9GL), possibly essential genes (p12, pA104R, ribonucleotide reductase), and genes with widely unknown functions (pK145R). Isolation of the desired virus recombinants by plaque assays or limiting dilutions on a wild boar lung cell line (WSL-HP) was facilitated by substitutive reporter gene insertions encoding fluorescent proteins (GFP, DsRed), or the human membrane protein CD4. The latter protein permitted enrichment of recombinant virus particles by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS). The isolated ASFV recombinants were characterized by PCR and sequencing of the mutated genome parts, and replication kinetics and virus spread in cell culture were investigated. Deletion of TK, CD2v, or pK145R had no detectable effect on in vitro growth of ASFV Kenya. Interestingly, virus mutants lacking the DNA binding protein pA104R which has been considered to be essential for DNA replication, also exhibited almost wild type-like growth properties. In contrast, ASFV mutants lacking ribonucleotide reductase or p12 could not be purified to homogeneity on WSL-HP cells, indicating these proteins are essential for virus replication in cell culture. Therefore, trans-complementing cells lines stably expressing ASFV p12 have been prepared which can now be used for mutant virus purification. If this approach is successful the resulting defective mutant ASFV Kenya-p12 might be suitable as a safe “disabled in second cycle” (DISC) live vaccine in swine. In a novel approach to improve reverse genetics of ASFV the CRISPR/Cas9 cell line WSL-gRp30 (Hübner et al., 2018a) was co-transfected with genomic DNA of ASFV-KenyaCD2vDsRed, sgRNA plasmids targeting K145R or 9GL, and GFP-expressing recombination plasmids for homology-directed repair. For booting up of the noninfectious virus genome the cells were infected with phylogenetically distant helper virus (genotype II ASFV Armenia, 84% identity) which was selectively inhibited on the used cell line. The desired double-fluorescent double-deletion mutants could be isolated after few plaque purification steps on selective WSL-gRp30 cells. Next generation sequence (NGS) analyses of reconstituted ASFV Kenya genomes showed that no unwanted recombination with the helper virus occurred, indicating that the method might be also suitable for booting of synthetic ASFV genomes cloned and mutagenized in E. coli or yeast.


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Page publiée le 5 janvier 2021