Two vaccinia virus (VV) strains, WR and Praha, were selected for a study undertaken to determine whether the virus-encoded interferon-γ receptor (IFN-γR) plays any role in virus virulence. Both of the viruses expressed the B8R gene coding for IFN-γR in infected cell cultures. The nucleotide sequence of the Praha virus B8R gene was determined, and, when compared with the published sequence of the WR virus, it only displayed one silent nucleotide substitution. Mutants of the WR and Praha viruses with deleted B8R gene were constructed. In rabbits, skin lesions produced by the WR B8R-deleted mutants were smaller and tended to disappear earlier than those caused by wild-type WR virus. Similar results were obtained with both independently prepared WR B8R-deleted mutants. These data strongly suggested that the product of B8R gene did play a role in virus virulence. A similar comparison of the wild-type Praha virus and its mutant could not be done because of the very low virulence of the parental virus for rabbits.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2001
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