Dennis J Pierro

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Alphavirus transducing systems (ATSs) are alphavirus-based tools for expressing genes in insects. Here we describe an ATS (5'dsMRE16ic) based entirely on Sindbis MRE16 virus. GFP expression was used to characterize alimentary tract infections and dissemination in three Culicine and two Lepidopteran species. Following per os infection, 5'dsMRE16ic-EGFP(More)
The Sindbis virus (Alphavirus; Togaviridae) strain MRE16 efficiently infects Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that ingest a blood meal containing 8 to 9 log(10) PFU of virus/ml. However, a small-plaque variant of this virus, MRE16sp, poorly infects mosquitoes after oral infection with an equivalent titer. To determine the genetic differences between MRE16 and(More)
We have constructed an orally infectious Sindbis virus, ME2/5'2J/GFP, that expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the midgut of Aedes aegypti and in other tissues as the virus disseminates. This virus has two unique features that are improvements over the SIN-based expression systems currently used in mosquitoes. First, a subgenomic RNA promoter and(More)
The genome of a candidate dengue type 2 (DEN-2) vaccine virus, strain PDK-53, differs from its DEN-2 16681 parent by nine nucleotides. Using infectious cDNA clones, we constructed 18 recombinant 16681/PDK-53 viruses to analyze four 16681-to-PDK-53 mutations, including 5' noncoding region (5'NC)-57 C-to-T, premembrane (prM)-29 Asp-to-Val (the only mutation(More)
Little is known about viral determinants of virulence associated with western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV). Here, we have analysed six North American WEEV isolates in an outbred CD1 mouse model. Full genome sequence analyses showed < or =2.7 % divergence among the six WEEV isolates. However, the percentage mortality and mean time to death (MTD) varied(More)
Mosquito midgut epithelial cells (MEC) play a major role in determining whether an arbovirus can successfully infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes. The Sindbis virus (SINV) strain TR339 efficiently infects Aedes aegypti MEC but the SINV strain TE/5'2J poorly infects MEC. SINV determinants for MEC infection have been localized to the E2 glycoprotein. The(More)
We constructed chimeric dengue type 2/type 1 (DEN-2/DEN-1) viruses containing the nonstructural genes of DEN-2 16681 virus or its vaccine derivative, strain PDK-53, and the structural genes (encoding capsid protein, premembrane protein, and envelope glycoprotein) of DEN-1 16007 virus or its vaccine derivative, strain PDK-13. We previously reported that(More)
Wild-type Sindbis virus (SINV) strain MRE16 efficiently infects Aedes aegypti midgut epithelial cells (MEC), but laboratory-derived neurovirulent SINV strain TE/5'2J infects MEC poorly. SINV determinants for MEC infection have been localized to the E2 glycoprotein. The E2 amino acid sequences of MRE16 and TE/5'2J differ at 60 residue sites. To identify the(More)
Within mosquitoes, arboviruses encounter barriers to infection and dissemination that are critical determinants of vector competence. The molecular mechanisms responsible for these barriers have yet to be elucidated. The prototype Sindbis (SIN) strain, AR339, and viruses derived from this strain, such as TR339 virus, have limited infection and transmission(More)
The rDEN4Delta30-200,201 is a live attenuated DENV-4 vaccine candidate specifically designed to further attenuate the rDEN4Delta30 parent virus. In the present study, 28 healthy adult volunteers were randomized to receive either 10(5) plaque-forming unit (PFU) of vaccine (20) or placebo (8) as a single subcutaneous injection. Volunteers were evaluated for(More)