Modeling the Ebolavirus Life Cycle with Transcription and Replication-Competent Viruslike Particle Assays
Ebolaviruses are the causative agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever with high case fatality rates, for which no approved specific therapy is available. As biosafety level 4 (BSL4) agents, work with live ebolaviruses is restricted to maximum containment laboratories. Transcription and replication-competent viruslike particle (trVLP) systems are reverse genetics-based life cycle modeling systems that allow researchers to model virtually the entire ebolavirus life cycle outside of a maximum containment laboratory. These systems can be used to dissect the virus life cycle, and thus increase our understanding of virus biology, as well as for more applied uses such as the screening and development of novel antivirals, and thus represent powerful tools for work on ebolaviruses.