Characterization of a Chikungunya virus strain isolated from banked patients’ sera
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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a prevalent mosquito-borne pathogen that is emerging in many parts of the globe causing significant human morbidity. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of an infectious CHIKV from banked serum specimens of suspected patients from the 2009 epidemic in Thailand. Standard plaque assay was used for CHIKV isolation from the banked serum specimens. Isolated CHIKV was identified base on E1 structural gene sequence. Growth kinetic, infectivity, cell viability and cytokine gene expression throughout CHIKV infection in a permissive cell line, 293T cells, was performed using several approaches, including standard plaque assay, immunofluorescence assay, classical MTT assay, and quantitative real-time PCR. Two tailed Student’s t test was used for evaluation statistically significance between the mean values of the groups. Based on the E1 structural gene sequence and phylogenetic analysis, we identified the virus as the CHIK/SBY8/10 isolate from Indonesia. Assessment of the growth kinetics, cytopathic effects as well as its ability to induce cellular immune responses suggested that the currently isolated CHIK/SBY8/10 virus is relatively more virulent than a known CHIKV vaccine strain, which also induces more dramatic proinflammatory responses.