Modified recombinant syncytial virus (RSV) strain expressing a bioluminescent reporter protein for high throughput screening and vaccine development.
- Provides a new high throughput screening tool for RSV vaccine development and drug discovery.
- Firefly luciferase based assays show better signal-to-noise than fluorescence-based assays.
RSV is a major cause of respiratory illness, especially in young children and the elderly. In the United States, nearly all children have been infected with RSV by age two, resulting in 75,000-125,000 hospitalization and 4,000 deaths annually. Worldwide, the virus is responsible for 160,000 deaths per year. Currently, no vaccine or small molecule treatment for RSV exists, demonstrating a significant need for tools that allow for the development of potential treatments.
Researchers at Emory have created a recombinant RSV strain that expresses firefly luciferase. Firefly luciferase is a bioluminescent protein from Photinus pyralis that is highly used as a genetic reporter in high throughput genetic screening assays. In the modified RSV, the bioluminescence serves as a reporter of RSV infection and replication activity. Therefore, this RSV strain serves as useful tool for high throughput screening of antiviral agents and measurement of anti-RSV antibodies.
The bioluminescent RSV strain has been engineered and is ready to distribute.