The naturally attenuated Kunjin strain of West Nile virus shows enhanced sensitivity to the host type I interferon response

Stephane Daffis, Helen M. Lazear, Wen Jun Liu, Michelle Audsley, Michael Engle, Alexander A. Khromykh, Michael S. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The host determinants that contribute to attenuation of the naturally occurring nonpathogenic strain of West Nile virus (WNV), the Kunjin strain (WNVKUN), remain unknown. Here, we show that compared to a highly pathogenic North American strain, WNVKUN exhibited an enhanced sensitivity to the antiviral effects of type I interferon. Our studies establish that the virulence of WNVKUN can be restored in cells and mice deficient in specific interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) or the common type I interferon receptor. Thus, WNVKUN is attenuated primarily through its enhanced restriction by type I interferon- and IRF-3-dependent mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5664-5668
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Volume85
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

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