Generation of Recombinant Ebola Viruses Using Reverse Genetics
Reverse genetics systems encompass a wide array of tools aimed at recapitulating some or all of the virus life cycle. In their most complete form, full-length clone systems allow us to use plasmid-encoded versions of the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) components to initiate the transcription and replication of a plasmid-encoded version of the complete viral genome, thereby initiating the complete virus life cycle and resulting in infectious virus. As such this approach is ideal for the generation of tailor-made recombinant filoviruses, which can be used to study virus biology. In addition, the generation of tagged and particularly fluorescent or luminescent viruses can be applied as tools for both diagnostic applications and for screening to identify novel countermeasures. Here we describe the generation and basic characterization of recombinant Ebola viruses rescued from cloned cDNA using a T7-driven system.