Modified respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) expressing a bioluminescent reporter protein for high throughput screening, vaccine development, and drug discovery. Plasmid encoding virus also available.
- Provides a new high throughput screening tool for RSV vaccine development and drug discovery.
- Bioluminescent assays outperform fluorescent assays for high throughput screening purposes, with better sensitivity, broad linearity, and robustness to compounds and biological samples.
- Renilla luciferase is compatible with live cell measurements.
RSV is a major cause of respiratory illness in infants, young children, and in recent years, the elderly. In the United States, nearly all children have been infected with RSV by age 2, resulting in 75,000-125,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths annually. Worldwide, RSV affects an estimated 64 million people and is responsible for 160,000 deaths each year. Currently there is no effective vaccine or small molecule drug against RSV, therefore there is a distinct need for tools and strategies to enable RSV vaccine development and drug discovery.
Emory researchers, Drs. Moore and Plemper, have created a recombinant RSV strain that expresses Renilla luciferase in the first gene position of the RSV genome. Renilla luciferase is a bioluminescent protein originally derived from sea pansies that has been widely used as a genetic reporter in high throughput screening assays. In this modified RSV, the bioluminescence serves as a reporter for RSV infection or replication activity. Because of this reporter activity, this RSV strain serves as an excellent tool for the high throughput screening of antiviral agents (drug development) and measurement anti-RSV antibodies (vaccine studies).
The bioluminescent RSV strain has been successfully engineered and is available to distribute.