Generation of a recombinant West Nile virus stably expressing the Gaussia luciferase for neutralization assay

Pan Tao Zhang, Chao Shan, Xiao Dan Li, Si Qing Liu, Cheng Lin Deng, Han Qing Ye, Bao Di Shang, Pei Yong Shi, Ming Lv, Bei Fen Shen, Cheng Feng Qin, Bo Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic human pathogen that has caused increasing infected cases over recent years. There is currently no licensed vaccine or effective drug for prevention and treatment of WNV infection in humans. To facilitate antiviral drug discovery and neutralizing antibody detection, a WNV cDNA clone containing a luciferase reporter gene was constructed through incorporating Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) gene within the capsid-coding region of WNV genome. Transfection of BHK-21 cells with the cDNA clone-derived RNA generated luciferase reporter WNV (WNV-Gluc) and the stable WNV-Gluc with high titers (>107PFU/ml) was obtained through plaque purification. Luciferase activity was used to effectively quantify the viral production of WNV-Gluc. Using the reporter virus WNV-Gluc, we developed a luciferase based assay in a 12-well format for evaluating neutralizing antibodies. The reporter virus could be a powerful tool for epidemiological investigation of WNV, vaccine evaluation, antiviral drug screening, and the study of WNV replication and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - Jan 4 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiviral drug discovery
  • Gaussia luciferase
  • Neutralizing antibody
  • Reporter virus
  • West nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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