A replication-competent foot-and-mouth disease virus expressing a luciferase reporter

Bioluminescence is a powerful tool in the study of viral infection both in vivo and in vitro. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) has a small RNA genome with a limited tolerance to foreign RNA entities. There has been no success in making a reporter FMDV expressing a luciferase in infected cell culture supernatants. We report here for the first time a replication-competent FMDV encoding Nanoluciferase, named as Nano-FMDV. Nano-FMDV is genetically stable during serial passages in cells and exhibits growth kinetics and plaque morphology similar to its parental virus. There are applications for the use of Nano-FMDV such as real-time monitoring of FMDV replication in vitro and in vivo.

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