La Crosse virus, a member of the California serogroup of the family Bunyaviridae, causes encephalitis in humans and laboratory rodents. A variant virus (V22) selected with a monoclonal antibody against the large (G1) glycoprotein showed diminished neuroinvasiveness after peripheral inoculation. This variant has an alteration in its fusion function, requiring a lower pH for the activation of fusion and demonstrating reduced efficiency of cell-to-cell fusion of BHK-21 cultures. V22 was studied in detail following the infection by intraperitoneal or intracerebral routes in suckling, weanling, or adult CD-1 mice. It exhibited a marked reduction in its ability to replicate in striated muscle and to produce viremia; however, after intracerebral injection V22 virus replicated almost as rapidly in brain as its parent, La Crosse virus. V22 virus thus represents an example of reduced neuroinvasiveness associated with an alteration at a specific epitope of the G1 glycoprotein. The same epitope also influences the fusion activity of the glycoprotein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science