Title of Invention


Abstract The present invention is related to a vaccine composition for humans against YF infections consisting essencially of a recombinant YF virus, YFiv5.2/DD, which is regenerated from YF infectious cDNA. There is provided new plasmids, pYF 5'3' IV/Gl/2 and pYFM 5.2/T3/27, which together, have the complete sequence of said YF infectious cDNA. The method for producing recombinant .YF virus and the Original, Primary and Secondary Seed Lots are other embodiments of the present invention.
Full Text Title: Vaccines against infections caused by YF virus; YF
infectious cDNA, Method for producing a recombinant YF
virus from the YF infectious cDNA and Plasmids to
assemble the YF infectious cDNA
The present invention relates to a vaccine ai7ai-nst infections caused by YF virus and its preparation by regenerating YF 17D virus from the correspondent complementary DNA (cDNA) which is present in the new plasmids pYF 5"3" IV/Gl/2 and pYFM 5.2/T3/27.
The Flavivirus genus consists of 70 serologically cross-reactive, closely related human or veterinary pathogens causing many seriou.s illnesses, which includes dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis (JE), tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and yellow fever (YF). The Flaviviruses are spherical with 40-60 nm in diameter with an icosahedral capsid which contains a single positive-stranded RNA molecule.
YF virus is the prototype virus of the family of the Flaviviruses with a RNA genome of 10,862 nucleotides infi, having a 5" CAP structure (118 nt) and a ncnpoiyadenylated 3" end (511 nt). The compl ete nuclectide sequence, of its RNA genome was determined by Rice, CM. et al (1985) .

The single RNA is also the viral message and its translation in the infected cell results in the synthesis of a polyprotein precursor of 3,411 amino acids which is cleaved by proteolytic processing to generate 10 virus-specific polypeptides. From the 5" terminus, the order of the encoded proteins is: C; prM/M; E; NSl; NS2A; WS2B; NS3; NS4A; NS4B and NS5. The first 3 proteins constitute the structural proteins, i.e., they form the virus together with the packaged RNA molecule.The remainder of the genome codes for the nonstructural proteins (NS) numbered from 1 through 5, according the order of their synthesis.
The C protein, named capsid, has a molecular weight ranging from 12 to 14 kDa (12-14 kilodaltons); the membrane protein, M has a molecular weight of 8 kDa, and its precursor (prMl 18-22 kDa; the envelope protein, E, has 52-54 kDa, being all of them encoded in the first quartier of their genome.
Three of the nonstructural proteins are large and have highly conserved sequences among the flaviviruses, namely, NSl has a molecular weight ranging from 38 to 41 ::L^; NS3 has 68-70 kDa and NS5, 100-103 kDa. No role has yen been assigned to NSl but NS3 has been shown to be birunctional having a protease activity needed for the pr,-:c8Ssing of the polyprotein, and the other is a nu.-leotide triphosphatase/helicase activity which is associated with viral RNA replication. NS5, the largest arici most conserved protein, contains several sequence

motifs which are characteristic of viral RNA polymerases. The 4 small proteins , namely N32A, NS2B, NS4A and MS4B, are poorly conserved in their amino acid sequences but not in their pattern of multiple hydrophobic stretches. NS2A has been shown to be required for proper processing of NSl whereas NS2B has been shown to be ass o c i a t e d w i "i^ 1"^ the protease activity of NS3.
Two strains of yellow fever virus (YF)/ isolated in 1927, gave rise to the vaccines to be used for human immunization. One, the Asibi strain, was isolated froni a young african named Asibi by passage in Rhesus monkey IMacaca mulatta), and the other, the French Viscerctropic Virus (FW), from a patient in Senegal.
In 1935, Che Asibi strain was adapted to growth in mouse embryonic tissue. After 17 passages, the virus, named 17D, was further cultivated until passage 5 8 in whole chicken embryonic tissue and thereafter, until passage 114, in denervated chicken embryonic tissue only. Theiler and Smith (Theiler, M. and Smith, H.H. (1937! , "The effect of prolonged cultivation in vitro upon the pathogenicity of yellow fever virus". J. Exp. Med. 6S:l6"i-"^Q6] showed that, at this stage, there was a marked reduction in viral viscero and neurotropism when inoculated intracerebrally in monkeys. This virus was further subcultured until passages 227 and 229 and the resulting viruses, without human immune serum, were usea to iramunice 8 human volunteers with satisfactory results,

as shewn by the absence of adverse reactions and seroconversion to YF in 2 weeks. These passages yie-^ded the paren": 17D strain at passage level 180 (see Figure 1., ULi"i" at passage 195, and the 17D-204 at passage ii:4. l"7DIt was further subcultured until passage 241 and underwent 43 additional passages in embryonated chic-ken eggs to yield the virus currently used for human vaccination in some countries (passage 284). The 170-204 was further subcultured to produce Colombia 88 strain which, upon passage in embryonated chicken eggs, gave rise to different vaccine seed lots currently in use in France (I. Pasteur, at passage 235) and in the United States (Connaught, at passage 234). The 17D-213 strain was derived from 17D-2 04 when the primary seed lot (SI 112-69) from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG 83-56) was used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to produce an avian leukosis virus-free 17D seed (SI 213/77) ar passage 237 .
In the late 193 0"s and early 1940"s, mass vaccinaticn was conducted in Brazil with the use of several substrains of 17D virus (Table I j . These substrains differed in their passage history and they overlapped with regard to time of their use for inocula and/or vaccine production. The substitution of each one by the nex": was according to the experience gained during vaccine prodiict.ion, qualify control and human vaccination in which the appearance of symptomatology led to cne di3Con.tinuation of a given strain.

Each of these 17D-204 strains (C-204; F-204) was claque purified in different cell lines, the virus finally amplified in SW13 cells and used for cDNA cloning and sequence analyses (Rice, CM.; Lenches, E. ; Eddv, S.R.; Shin, S.J.; Sheets, R.L. and Strauss, J.H. (1985! . "Nucleotide sequence of yellow fever virus: implications for flavivirus gene expression and evolution". Science. 229: 726-733; Despres, P.; Cahour, A.; Dupuy, A.; Deubel, y.; Bouloy, M.; Digoutte, J.P.; Girard, M. (1987). "High genetic stability of the coding region for the structural proteins of yellow fever strain 17D". J. Gen. Virol. 68: 2245-2247) .
The 17D-213 at passage 239 was tested for monkey neurovirulence (R. S. Marchevsky, personal communication, see Duarte dos Santos et al, 1995) and was the subject of sequence analysis together with 17DD (at passage 284) and comparison to previously published nucleotide sequences of other YF virus strains (Duarte dos Santos et al, 1995) .Asibi; Hahn, C. S.; Dalrymple, J.M.; Strauss, J.H. and Rice, CM. (1987). "Comparison of the virulent Asibi strain of yellow fever virus with the 17D vaccine strain :;erived from it". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 84: 2 02 9-I0.;3; 17D-204 strain, C-204: Rice. CM. ; Lenches, E.M. ; I id 7, S . R. ; Shin, S. J. ; Sheets, R.L. and Strauss, J.H. i9d5), "Nucleotide sequence of yellow fever virus: i_T;plications for flavivirus gene expression and -/Glution". Science. 229: 72 6-733; F-204: Despres, F. ;

Canour, R.; Dupuy, A.; Deubei, V. ; Bouloy, M. ; Digoutte, ,).F-. and Girard, M. !19&7j. "High genetic stability of the ceding region for the structural proteins of yel :.ow fever virus strain 17D". J. Gen. Virol. 68: 2245-"^4" i,see figure 1) .
A total of 67 nucleotide differences, correspor-dini-.i
to 31 amino acid changes, were originally noted bet".ve":-n
the Asibi and 17D-204 genomic sequences (see Hahn, G.S.
et al, 1987). The comparison between the nucleotide
sequences of 17DD and 17D-213 substrains (see Duarte dos
Santos et al, 1995) and the nucleotide sequence of i^r."-
204 substrain (see Rice et al, 1985) showed that not all
changes are common and thus not confirmed as being l^f)-
specific. Therefore, the 17D-substrain specific changes
observed are very likely not related to attenuation but
may reflect differences in behavior of these strains in
monkey neurovirulence tests. In consequence, the number
of changes likely to be associated with viral attenuation
were reduced by 26 , i.e., to 48 nucleotide changes. From
these 48 nucleotide sequence changes which are scattered
along the genome, 26 are silent mutations and 22 led to
amino acid substitutions. More important are the
alterations noted in the E protein because it is the main
target for numeral neutralizing response, i.e., it is tne
protein where hemagglutination and neutralization
epitopes are located, and it mediates cell receptor
recognition and cell penetration, therefore targeting the
virus to specific cells. Importantly, E proie_n

accumulate the highest ratio of nonconservative to conservative amino acid changes. Altogether, eleven nucleotide substitutions were observed in the E prctein gene leading Co 8 amino acid changes at positions 52, 1^0, 173, 200, 299, 305, 331 and 380 (respec"ively nucleotides 1127, 1482, 1491, 1572, 1870, 1887, 196; ^nd 2112 from the RNA 5" end).
Alterations at amino acids 52 and 200 are locared in domain A of E protein (domain II in 3-D structure proposed for Flaviviruses E protein - Rey, F.A.; Heinz F.X.; Mandl, C; Kuns, C and Harrison, S.C. (1995). "The envelope glycoprotein from tick-borne encephalitis virus at 2A resolution". Nature. 375: 2 91-2 98) which is conserved among Flaviviruses and contains cross-reactive epitopes as shown by Mandl, C .W. et al [Mandl, M. W. ; Guirakhoo, F, ; Holzmann, H.; Heinz, F.X. and Kunz, C. (1989). "Antigenic structure of the flavivlrus envelope E protein at the molecular level using tick-borne encephalitis virus as a model". J. Virol. 63: 564-571), This domain II is highly crosslinked by disulphide bonds and undergoes low pH transition which is related to exposing a strictly conserved and hydrophobic stretch of amino acids which are supposed to be involved in the fusion of che viral envelope to the endosome membrane.
Alterations at amino acids 299, 305, 331 and 380 are located in the B domain (domain III in the 3-D structure - see Rey, F.A. et al). This domain was suggested to be

involved in viral attachment to a cellular receptor and consequently being a major determinant both of host range and cell tropism and of virulence/attenuation. The 4 amino acid changes reported for YF are located on the distal face of domain III. This area has a loop which is a tight turn in tick-borne encephalitis virus but contains 4 additional residues in all mosquito-borne strains. Because viruses replicate in their vectors, this loop is likely to be a host range determinant. This enlarged loop contains an Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic Acid (Arg-Gly-Asp) sequence in all 3 YF 17D vaccine strains. This sequence motif is known to mediate a number of cell interactions including receptor binding and is absent not only in the parental virulent Asibi strain but also in other 22 strains of YF wild type virus (Lepiniec, L.; Dalgarno, L.; Huong, V.T.Q.; Monath, T.P . ; Digoutte, J.P. and Deubel, V. (1994). "Geographic distribution and evolution of yellow fever viruses based on direct sequencing of genomic DNA fragments". J. Gen. Virol. 75; 417-42 3) . Such a fact suggests that the mutation from Threonine (Thr) to Arginine (Arg) , creating a Arg-Gly-Asp motif, is likely to be relevant for the attenuated phenotype of the YF 17 D strain. Consistently, Lobigs et al (Lobigs, M.; Usha, R.; Nesterowicz, A.; Marschall, :.:>.; Weir, R.C. and Dalgarno, L. (1990) . "Host cell selection of Murray Valley encephalitis virus variants altered at an RGD sequence in the envelope protein and in

mouse neurovirulence". Virology. 176: 587-595) identified a Arg-Gly-Asp sequence motif (at amino acid 390) which led to the loss of virulence of Murray ValJev encephalitis virus for mice.
Alterations at amino acids 170 and 173 in domain C
(domain I of the E protein in the 3-D structure) map very
close to the position that a neutralization epitope vjas
identified for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus {see
Mandl, C.W. et al). A mutation at position 171 of TBE
virus E protein was shown to affect the threshold of
fusion-activating conformational change of this protein
and the 2 changes observed for YE 17D virus may be
related to same phenomenon. It is conceivable that a
slower rate of fusion may delay the extent of virus
production and thereby lead to a milder infection of the
host. It is noteworthy that the recent development of
infectious cDNA for Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus made
by Sumiyoshi, H. et al (Sumiyoshi, H.; Hoke, C.H. and
Trent, D.W. (1992). "Infectious Japanese encephalitis
virus RNA can be synthesized from in vitro-ligated cDNA
templates". J. Virol. 66: 5425-5431) allowed the
identification of a mutation (Lys for Glu) at amino acid
136 of the E protein which resulted in the loss of
neurovirulence for mice (see Sumiyoshi, H. ; Tignor, G.H.
and Shops, R.E. (1996i . "Characterization of a highly
attenuated Japanese encephalitis virus generated from
molecularly cloned cDNA". J. Infect. Dis. 171: 1144-

1151 j . This means that domain I is an important area which contains a critical determinant of JE virus virulence in contrast to most of the data obtained from the analyses of virulence for several other flaviviruses for which it is suggested that domain III would be the primary site for virulence/attenuation determinants. Nevertheless, such analyses of the E protein provides a framework for understanding several aspects of flavivirus biology and suggests that it should be possible to engineer viruses for the development of new live flavivirus vaccine.
The issue of virulence/attenuation is of special interest for vaccine development but conceivably viral attenuation can result from genetic modification in one or more viral functions. YF virus is the ideal system to study flavivirus virulence and attenuation because: (i) there is a virulent strain (Asibi) from which an extremely well characterized vaccine strain was derived (17D) and has been successfully used for human vaccination for over 50 years; (ii) there is an animal system which reflects human infection; (iii) the complete nucleotide sequences from both virulent and attenuated strains have been determined and {iv) cDNA clones from which infectious RNA can be synthesized are available.
Holland, J. et al (Holland, J.; Spindler, K.; Horodyski, H. ; Grabau, E. ; Nichol, S. and VandePol, S. (1982) . "Rapid evolution of RNA genomes". Science. 215:

1577-1585) described the fact that viral RNA gencmes evolve rapidly. Therefore, a given viral population including YF vaccine viruses is likely to consist of a major type sequence population in which genetic variants can be detected. For YF 17D virus, this is easily seen when the virus is plaqued on cultured cells under an semi-solid overlay in which plaques of different sises are observed. Previous genomic variability analysis using oligonucleotide fingerprinting suggested a high degree of genetic similarity between vaccines produced worldwide with an estimated sequence homology of 98-100". However, generic changes were detected and may have occurred within 1-2 passages possibly due to the selection of virion subpopulations or to point mutations. It is unknown whether the outstanding vaccine properties of the YF 17D virus are due to the existence of genetic variants in the vaccine population. Anywise, the stabilization of the YF 17D genome as DNA not only will reduce the accumulation of mutations in the viral genome as seed lots are produced to replace the previous one but will also provide a much more homogeneous population in terms of nucleotide sequence and consequently in terms of phenotypic markers including attenuation for humans, thereby providing the necessary standardization of YF substrain use for vaccine production.
The capability to manipulate the genome of flaviviruses through infectious clone technology has opened new possibilities for vaccine development. This is

so because virus can be recovered from complementary DNA by in vitro transcription and trans faction of cultured cells with RNA, and these cDNAs corresponding to the complete viral genome allow introducing generic modifications at any particular site of the viral genome. The pioneer study of Racaniello and Baltimore (Racaniello, V.R. and Baltimore, D. (1981) . ^"Cloned poliovirus complementary DNA is infectious in mammalian cells". Science. 214: 916-919) first showed the feasibility to regenerate virus from cloned cDNA. In the patent US 4, 719,177, Racaniello and Baltimore described, in details, the production of RNA viral cDNA by reverse transcribing viral RNA and inserting the resulting cDNA molecule into a recombinant DNA vector. The process was particularly concerned to the production of poliovirus double-stranded complementary DNA (ds cDNA). They found out that the transfeeted full-length poliovirus cDNA was itself infectious.
In addition, with the development of in vi tro transcription systems (see Melton, D.A.; Krieg, P.A.; Rabagliaiii, H.R.; Maniatis, T. ; Zinn, K. and Green, M.R. (198 4). "Efficient in vitro synthesis of biologically active RNA and RNA hybridization probes from plasmids containing a bacteriophage SP6 promoter". Nucl. Acids. Res. 12; 7035-7055), a much higher efficiency in the synthesis of full length viral RNA, as compared to cDNA transcription in the cell, became possible. Furthermore,

the development of improved trans feetion methodologies such as cationic liposomes and electroporation increased the efficiency of RNA transfection of cultured cells.
The construction and cloning of a stable full-length dengue cDNA copy in a strain of Escherichia coli using the pBR322 plasmid vector was described by Lai, C.J. et al (Lai, C.J.; Zhao, B.; Hori, H. and Bray, M. (1991). "Infectious RNA transcribed from stably cloned full-length cDNA of dengue type 4 virus". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 88: 5139-5143). They verified that RNA molecules produced by in vitro transcription of the full-length cloned DNA template were infectious, and progeny virus recovered from transfected cells was indistinguishable from the parental virus from which the cDNA clone was derived. But, as mentioned in the Patent Application WO 93/06214, such an infectious DNA construct and RNA transcripts generated therefrom were pathogenic, and that the attenuated dengue viruses generated thus far were genetically unstable and had the potential to revert back to a pathogenic form overtime. To solve this problem, the Applicant proposed to construct cDNA sequences encoding the RNA transcripts to direct the production of chimeric dengue viruses incorporating mux: at ions to recombinant DNA fragments generated therefrom. A preferred mutation ablates NSl protein (jlycosylation.

The construction of full-length YF 17D cDNA template that can be transcribed in vitro to yield infectious YF virus RNA was described by Pdce et al (Pdce, CM. ; Grakoui, A.; Galler, R. and Chambers, T. (1969,". "Transcription of infectious yellow fever RNA from full-length cDNA templates produced by in vitro ligation". The New Biologist. 1: 285-296). Because of the instability of full-length YF cDNA clones and their toxic effects on Escherichia coli, they developed a strategy in which full-length templates for transcription were constructed by in vitro ligation of appropriate restriction fragments. Moreover, they found that the YF virus recovered from cDNA was indistinguishable from the
parental virus by several criteria. The YF infectious
cDNA is derived from the 17D-204 substrain.
Notwithstanding the YF virus generated from the
known YF infectious cDNA is rather attenuated, it cannot
be used for human vaccination because of its residual
neurovirulence, as determined by Marchevsky, R.S. et al (Marchevsky, R. S . ; Mariano, J,; Ferreira, V". S . ; Almeida,
E.; Cerqueira, M.J.; Carvalho, R. ; Pissurno, J.W. ;
Travassos da Rosa, A.P.A.; Simoes, M.C.; Santos, C.N.D.;
Ferreira, I. I.; Muylaert, I.R.; Mann, G.F.; Rice, C.M.
and Galler, R. il995). "Phenotypic analysis of yellow
fever virus derived from complementary DNA", Am. J. Trop.
Med. Hyg. 52{1): 75-80).

Ir. snort, to obtain a YF vaccine virus -vising recombinant DNA techniques, it is necessary, cumulatively:
i.l"" to genetically modify the existing YF infectious cDNA;
(2) to assure that the infectious DNA construct and RNA transcripts generated therefrom give rise to virus which is not pathogenic, and, moreover, does not have the
potential to revert to a pathogenic form; (3} the YF virus generated from cloned cDNA, in addition
to being attenuated should retain its immunological
Accordingly, an improved YF virus vaccine without
neurovirulence and immunogenic generated from a cloned YF
infectious cDNA should be developed for human
It is an object of the present invention to provide a safe and effective YF virus vaccine obtained from a cloned cDNA having the phenotypic characteristics of the 17DD strain, mainly its attenuation and immunogenicity.
In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a new version of Y"F infectious cDNA clone that is 17L)D-liJie, which is the most genetically stable substrain of the YF 17D strain.

In another embodiment of the present invention, tnere is provided new YF plasmids which have the complete sequence of the YF infectious cDNA.
Another embodiment of the present invention is a recombinant YF virus which is regenerated from a YF infectious cDNA
In another embodiment, the present invention relates to a process for production of a YF Vaccine virus by transfecting host cells and recovering IVDD-like virus.
The cDNA template of the present invention resulted of nine mutations which have been introduced in the infectious cDNA named YFiv5.2 (see Kice et al, 1989) .
New plasmids, named pYF5" 3"IV/Gl/2 and pYFM5.2/T3/27, and a method to obtain the same are provided to accomplish the mentioned mutations.
FIGURE 1 illustrates the passage history of the original YF Asibi strain and derivation of YF 17D vaccine strains. FIGURE 2 the use of YF 17DD virus for human immunization during the establishment of the 17D strain in Brazil. FIGURE 3 shows the analysis of viral E protein N-linked glycosylation on denaturing polyacrylamide gel. FIGU.RE 4 shows the structure of plasmid pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 bearing the extreme 5" and 3" end sequences of the infectious cDNA of the present invention.

FIGURE 5 shows the structure of plasmid pYFM5.2/T3/27
bearing the genome middle region of the YF infectious
cDNA of the present invention.
FIGURE 6 sets forth the complete nucleotide sequence of the
YF infectious cDNA of the present invention.
FIGURE 7 illustrates the methodology for the regeneration
of YF virus from cloned cDNA of the present invention.
FIGURE 8 displays the comparative plaque size analysis
among YF 17D viruses.
The phenotypic testing of the virus recovered from the 17D-204 substrain cDNA described by Rice et al.,1989 showed that the virus is suitable for mapping virulence determinants as far as reversion to the wild type phenotype is concerned. However, the slightly higher clinical score observed in neurovirulence tests suggests caution in its use for human vaccination (Marchevsky et al, 1995), It is also noteworthy that the YF 204 substrain, used for the preparation of the cDNA library and the infectious cDNA (Rice et al, 1985; 1989), is clcsely related in terms of lineage and passage number to other YF 204 substrains which brought about most cases of post vaccine encephalitis in vaccinees (Schoub, E.D.; Dommann, C.J.; Johnson, S.; Downie, C. and Patel, P.L. (199n), "Encephalitis in a 13-year old boy following 17D YF vaccine". J. Infection 21: 105-106; Merlo, C,

Steffen, R.; Landis, T., Tsai, T. and Karabatsos, N.
ii993\. "Possible association of encephalitis and a 17D YF vaccination in a 29-year old traveller". Vaccine. 11:
691). In contrast, no cases of post vaccine encephalitis were recorded with the 17DD substrain, even in the early days of vaccination [Fox, J.P.; Lennette, E .H.; Manso, C. and Souza Aguiar, J.R. (1942) , "Encephalitis in man following vaccination with yellow fever 17D virus. Am. J. Hyg. 36: 17-142; Fox, J.P. and Penna, H.A. (1943). "Behavior of 17D yellow fever virus in Rhesus monkeys. Relation to substrain, dose and neural or extraneural inoculation". Am. J. Hyg. 38: 52-172).
As is evident from Table 1 and Figure 2 Che 17DD substrain was by far the mostly used substrain for both inocula and vaccine production with special emphasis for the EPlow substrain which is still being used nowadays. The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of 17DD EPlow substrain has been recently derived (Duarte dos Santos et al, 1995) and its comparison with the sequences available for other substrains like 17D-204 (Rice et al, 1985; Despres et al, 1987) and 17D-213 (Duarte dos Santos et al, 1995) provides an estimate of the extent of genetic variability among these strains. The average number of fixed nucleotide or amino acid sequence changes per passage of the virus is significantly lower for DD suggesting that the 17DD strain is genetically more stable than the others (Caller, R. et al. Vaccine, in

press) and this may be of importance regarding YF vaccine production.
Table 1: Estimated amounts of inocula and vaccine produced with different substrains during the period of 1937-1942 in Brazil

Vaccine means that the inocula for the subsequent vaccine production was also a lot of vaccine. The amount of inocula in these cases are not available.
Currently in use for vaccine production at FIOCRUZ ■ NA not available
Therefore, in the present invention, mutations have been introduced in the YF infectious clone cDNA, namely YFiv5.2, to make it DD-like. These mutations are located at the following nucleotide position/gene/amino acid:
• 1140/E/36 (T (Thymine) =^ Val (Valine) -> C (Cytosme) =^
Ala (Alanine)),
• 1.^36, 14 37/E/155 (G (Guanine) , A (Adenine) => Asp
(Aspartic Acid) , -> A (Adenine) , G (Guanine) ^=> Ser
• 1946/E/335 (T (Thymine) => Ser (Serine) -> C (Cytosine)
^ Pro (Proline)),
• 2219, 2220/E/409 (A (Adenine), C (Cytosine) =■ Thr (Threonine) ->■ G [Guanine), T (Thymine) =:> Val (Valine)),
• 8808/NS5/391 (A (Adenine) => Asn (Asparagine) -> G (Guanine) => Ser (Serine)),
• 9605/NS5/657 (G (Guanine! ^ Asp (Aspartic Acid) -> A (Adenine; => Asn (Asparagine) ) .
In addition to these mutations, one coding and four silent mutations occured fortuitously at the following

nucleotide/gene 2356/E (T (Thymine) -^ C (Cytosine)),
2602/NSl (T (Thymine) -> C (Cytosine)), 2677/NSl (C
■Cytosine) -^ T (Thymine) ) , 2681/NSl (G (Guanine) =^ Ala
(Alanine) -^ A (Adenine) => Thr (Threonine)), and 10722 (G
[Guanine) —* A (Adenine) ) . Finally, the mutation occuring
at nucleotide/gene 8656/NS5 (A (Adenine) -> C (Cytosine))
■^as necessary to create a BstEII site permitting the
appropriate ligation and regeneration of the complete
genome and, consequently, the recovery of virus.
In the E protein, the creation of a N-linked glycosylation site at amino acid E/155 (nt), which is located in domain I (as defined in Rey, F.A. et al) , might influence the fusogenie activity of the E protein as observed for a dengue type 2 virus that had that site eliminated by mutation. This is so because E proteins, in absence of sugar moiety, have a higher pK threshold and >/o-,:ld therefore fuse to the endosomal membrane more easily and thereby allow the viral cycle to proceed. In ■:his regard, the YF virus 17D-204 vaccine consists of a ~.ixed population of viruses with or without that ;lycosylation site in contrast to the 17 DD and 170-213 viruses (see Post, P.R.; Santos, C.N.D.; Carvalho, R. ; "_ru=, A.C.R. ; Rice, C.M. and Galler, R. (1992) . "n-jcerogeneity in envelope protein sequence and N-linked ;lyco3ylation among Yellow Fever virus vaccine strains. "".rology, 188: 160-167) . For the construction of the

infectious YF cDNfi a population devoid of this site was seiecred. It is ncteworthy that a 17D-2 04 virus tr.at caused a fatal human case of post vaccinal encepnal i ".is also had no N-linked glycosylation site due to mutiti^n ["see Jennings, A.D.; Gibson, C.A.; Miller, B.R.; Mathe"-;-:, J. H. ; Mitchell, C . J . ; Roehrig, J. T. ; Wood, D. J. ; T^fr.-:, F. ; Sil, E.K. ; Whitby, S.N. ; Monath, T.P. ; Miner, 7-.: . ; Sanders, P.G. and Barrett, A.D.T. (1994). "Analysis of a yellow fever virus isolated from a fatal case of vaccirie-associated human encephalitis". J. Infect. Dis. 169: C12-518) .
Figure 3 shows a gel of immunoprecipitation of [ 3J methionine labeled viral proteins of two Yellow Fever vaccine strains and of Yellow Fever Virus infectious clones. VERO cells were infected at an MOI of 1. At 48 hours post-infection, cell monolayers were pulsed-labeled witxh [ 5] methionine for 1 hour. Detergent cell extracts vjere iramiunoprecipitated with yellow fever-specific mouse hyperimmune antiserum (obtained from ATCC). All immunoprecipitates were collected using protein A-sepharose. Samples were analysed by 10^ sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylaraide gel electrophoresis and by fluorography and exposition at -70°C. The numbers on tr.e lanes car respond to; (1) vaccine strain 17DD; ; ? "■ infectious clone A5/2-T3; (3) infectious clone A5/T3; i, 4: vaccine strain 170-213; (5) infectious clone Gl/5.2; : (■ infectious clone A5-T3/27; (7) infectious clone G1/2-T.;:

N/S; IS] infectious clone G1/2-T3/27. The positions of molecular weight markers are shown on the left and the yellow fever viral proteins on the right.
The potential role of the other changes in tn."^ E protein sequence for the complete attenuation or -.he virus recovered from cDNA is less clear.
Regarding the 2 alterations in the NS5 pror^:n, there are no structural analyses available to date anii it is, therefore, difficult to predict the effect of any particular amino acid change in its conformation/function. However, the mutation at amino acid 657 from the NS5 amino terminus is only 8 amino acids away from the putative catalytic site of the RNA replicase, the Gly-Asp-Asp (Glycine-Aspartic Acid-Aspartic Acid) motif, which is conserved throughout viral RNA polymerases from plant to animal viruses. It would not be surprising if this mutation has somewhat altered the activity of the enzyme leading to better RHA replication kinetics in the infected cell and consequently a higher viral output.
The mutations at nt sites 1140, 1436, 1437, 1946, 2219, 2220, 8808 and 9605 have been introduced in the YF infectious cDNA YFiv5.2. The YF infectious cDNA m its known version exists in the form of two plasmids bearing the extreme 5" and 3" end sequences (pYF5"3"IV) and the "genome middle region (pYFM5.2) as described by Rice, CM. et al (Rice et al, 1989) . The construction of these YF ;:lasmias required the ligation of several cDNA fragments

present in different plasmids of the cDNA library. The virus that gave rise to this cDNA library had been twice plaque purified in CEF cultures and the titer amplified by consecutive passages in Vero, BHK and SW13 cells, once each (see Figure 1). The extent of genetic variability in the viral population used for RNA extraction is not known. However, the complete nucleotide sequence analysis of the final infectious cDNA plasmids provided the identification of nucleotide changes not present in any other 17D virus for which genomic sequences are available. Due to stability problems, it was impossible to include the whole YF genome in one single plasmid and therefore a two-plasmid system and in vitro ligation of purified restriction fragments to regenerate the complete genome was established (see Rice, CM. et al, 1989) .
Plasmid pYF5"3"IV contains the YF 5" terminal sequence (nt 1-2271) adjacent to the SP6 phage polymerase promoter and 3" terminal sequence (nt 8276-10862) ■lidjacent to the Xhol site used for production of run off transcripts (see figure 2 in Rice, CM, et al, 1989). The plasmid pYFM5.2 contains YF 17D cDNA from nt 13 72 to
The pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 plasmid is prepared from pYF5"3"IV by creating changes, in the YF 5" terminal :^equence, at nucleotides 1140 and 1436/1437, and in the /" terminal sequence, at nucleotides 8656 and 9605 (see Table 2). The remaining of the plasmid consists of pBR

322 with 5 deletion from the Aatll to the EcoOl09 sites which resulted in the destruction of both sites. This plasmid contains a unique Aatll site corresponding tc nt 84 0 6 of the YF 17D cDNA. To accomplish the changes, two separate rounds of cloning/rautagenesis steps were necessary to create the relevant mutations in the E and NS5 proteins. The E mutations were introduced by cloning a Xbal/PstI fragment into pAlter"^" (Promega, Inc. ) and restriction fragment exchanging with Apal/Notl. The NS5 changes were introduced by cloning/mutagenesis of an ScoRI/SstI fragment in pAlter and swapping it back into the original plasmid using the same enzymes. The structure of plasmid pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 is shown in figure 4.

The plasmid pYFM5.2/T3/27 is prepared from pYFM5.2 by introducing the changes at nucleotides 1946, 22:9/2220, 8656 and 8808. To accomplish the nucleotide changes, it was introduced into pYFM5.2 an Aatll/Sall fragment encopassing YF nts 8406-9423 rendering this plasmid 719 nucleotide longer than its parental plasmid pYFM5.2. Since the Sail is also present at the same nucleotide position in the YF sequences contained iv. the other YF plasmid (pYFS" 3" IV) it became possible to use a combination of Apal or Nsil and Sail to produce the relevant restriction enzyme fragments. The intermediate plasmid pYFM5.2/T3 was used to derive the T3/27 plasmid
which contains the changes at nucleotides 1946 (T^ C) ,
2219 (A-^ G) and 2220 (C-> T) as compared to the parental
YFiv 5.2 (see Table 3) . The structure of plasmid
pYFM5.2/T3/27 is shown in figure 5.

The BstEII site at YF nt 8656 was created in both YF plasmids and their digestion with Apal or Nsil and BstEII provides the appropriate restriction enzyme fragments for the ligation and regeneration of the complete genome of

virus. This feature constitutes another genetic marker for this new version of the YF infectious cDNA. The complete nucleotide sequence of YF infectious cDNA (YFivS ,2/DDl is shown in Figure 6. Deposit of pla.smids pYFS"S"IV/Gl/2 and pYFM5.2/T3/27 has been made at the American Type Culture Collection and they are identified by ATCC Accession No. 97771 and 97772, respectively.
Figure 7 shows the methodology for the regeneration of YF virus from cloned complementary DNA. The plasmids Gl/2 and T3/27 shown in figures 4 and 5 are digested with Apal and Sail to produce restriction fragments which are purified, ligated and digested with Khol. The resulting DNA corresponds to full-length YF cDNA template that can be used for in vitro transcription with SP6 polymerase to produce infectious RNA transcripts upon transfeetion of cultured vertebrate cells. The black area corresponding to the vector sequences contain the beta-lactamase gene and the origin of replication. The position of the SP6 promoter is shown and is adjacent to the first 5" nucleotide of the YF genome. Nucleotides 1-1603 (down to the Apal site) and 9424 {Sail) to 10862 (Xhol) come from plasmid Gl/2 whereas nucleotides from 1604 (Apal) to 9423 [Sail] come from plasmid T3/27.
Besides pBR 322, other vectors which provide the stabilization of the YF virus genome can be used to prepare the plasmids of the present invention. Specific examples include plasmids such as pBR 325, pBR 327, pBR

328, plJC 1, pUC 8, pUC 9, pUC 19, phages such as X phage, M13 phage and the like.
Templates were prepared from pYF5"3"IV/Gi/2 and pYFM5.2/T3/27 using Apal/Sall and Nsil/Sall to produce Che restriction fragments for in vitro ligation. After digestion with Xhol to linearize the ligated DNA, the template was used for in vitro transcription. Virus has been recovered after RNA transfection of cultured animal cells .
The virus regenerated from plasmids pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 and pYFM5.2/T3/27 will be hereinafter referred to as YFiv5.2/DD.
Similarly to YF 17DD and 17D-213 the new virus produces large plaques in Vero cells in contrast to the l^D virus recovered from the original cDNA (Yfiv5.2; see figure 8). In ten consecutive passages of this virus in CEF cells this large plaque phenotype was shown to be stable. In addition, there was no alteration in its neurovirulence for mice as compared to the other well known YF I7D vaccine controls (Table 4].

The animal cell culture used herein may be any ceil insofar as YF virus 17D strain can replicate. Specific examples include, Hela (derived from carcinoma of human uterine cervix}, CV-1 (derived from monkey kidney), BSC-1 (derived from monkey kidney),RK 13 {derived from rabbit kidney), L929 (derived from mouse connective tissue!, CE (chicken embryo) cell, CEF {chicken embryo fibroblast), SW-13 (derived from human adrenocortical carcinoma), BHK-21 (baby hainmster kidney) , Vero (african green monkey kidney) , LLC-MK2 [derived from Rhesus monkey kidney {Macaca mulata)), etc.
Therefore, according to one of the embodiments of the present invention, a protocol was stablished leading from nucleic acid to YF vaccine virus production under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) by trans feeting cells certified for human vaccine production and recovering 17DD-like virus. This virus was then used to produce primary and secondary seed lots in primary cultures of chicken embryo fibroblasts under GMP. The virus resulting from seed lets is tested for monkey neurovirulence. This work should set the precedent for the production of new live attenuated fiaviviruses from cloned cDNA considering that infectious clones are now available for several of them with special emphasis on dengue and Japanese encephalitis.

The work carried out to produce the original, primary ana secondary seed lots is detailed in Example 5.
The production of YF vaccine based on the seed loi system has arisen from the necessity of having re i lah■^ virus regarding human vaccination. Thus, the concept of r.he seed lot system was the first break-through i;-_ th^ devel opment of the YF vaccine. In the period of 19!:"-19 41, the scientists which were working with Che establishmenc of YF vaccine production did use a number of viral l"t" substrains (17D Rio, 17Dlow, 17D2Rio, 17D3Rio, 17Dr., 17DDhigh, 17DDlow, EP, EPlow, EPhigh, NY102, NYin4, NY 310/318} . As production and the vaccination campaigns went on and complications with vaccinees were noted it was realized the possibility of phenotypic selection of viruses by serial passage in tissue culture. When checking early records of vaccine production at FIOCRUZ, we have noticed that for all substrains more inocula was prepared than what was actually used for vaccine production and therefore vials of specific passages were usually available (Post, PR. and Galler, R,, unpublished). This operating procedure together with the use of multiple strains at one time in a way did allow them to have uninterrupted production. With the obser^"ation of post-vaccinal complications in humans and also the failure of some viruses in the quality control tests (neurovirulence for monkeys) as described by Fox et al

" 194 2 ;■ and Fox and Penna (1943) it became imperative to reduce the variables during vaccine production. One of "he possibilities was to reduce the viral passages used for production. That was accomplished by establishing the seed lot system in which the virus is kept at defined passage levels whereas that particular passage is quality tested. In the records we have noted that the primordial fact that led to this development was the observation that high passages of DD substrain (named DDhigh) led to the loss of immunogenicity in human vaccinees with deficient coverage of the local population against wild type YF (Fox & Penna, 1945). This observation led the scientists back to the initial passages of DD substrain, more precisely at so 229/230, which was then used to prepare 8 consecutive inocula (named DDl to 8). Each of these DD substrains were cultivated for not more than 30 passages. Every passage was actually used for vaccine production but to different extents. The procedure yielded reliable virus regarding human vaccination. At this stage the NY104 substrain was the one being used for most production of vaccine and therefore this change in operation was implemented and NY104 was the first substrain to be fully employed in the seed lot system. It is illustrative to such operating practice that only 3 seed lots (E668, E694 and E716) were used to produce almost 2 million doses of vaccine during a 10-month time interval.

Unfortunately, some of these vaccine batches turned out to be extremely neurotropic (Fox et al, 1942; Fox & Penna, 1943) and the use of this substrain was discontinued. The next strain in line was EPlow which was used at sc243 to produce inocula in embryonated eggs instead of chicken embryonic tissue without nervous sytem. There were 15"j serial passages of EPlow in embryonated eggs but only 7 oi these passages were used for vaccine production. Virus produced in that way performed well in monkey neurovirulence tests and in human trials. Therefore, EPlow at chicken embryo passage 35 was used to prepare the EPF3"74 vaccine which later gave rise to the DD primary and secondary seed lots under use nowadays, which are just 2 passages ahead of the original seed over a time period of 50 years.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, to accomplish the YF 17D vaccine virus propagation in cells certified for the production of human vaccines, primary cultures of chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) were used in ail production steps. There are several reasons to use CEF ceils: these cells have been used successfully for measles vaccine production for years with extensive experience m i^T-S preparation and quality controls; a number of Standard ".Operating Practices (SOPs) is available. Moreover, the production of YF vaccine in CEF cultures led to 3

consecutive lots of vaccine that passed all tests including neuroviruience for monkeys.
The stabilization of the YF 17D genome as DNA not only will reduce the accumulation of mutations in the viral genome as seed lots are produced to replace the previous one but will also provide a much more homogeneous population in terms of nucleotide sequence and consequently in terms cf phenotypic markers including attenuation for humans.
As mentioned before, in a preferred embodiment, all lots were prepared in primary cultures of chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) using eggs derived from SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) flocks. Cell cultures were set up in a suitable medium and used later post-seeding. Viruses were recovered after incubation by centrifugating and removing the cellular debris. To the supernatant containing the viruses was added a stabilizer which is, for the skilled m the art, known to enhance the stability of viral immunogenic
compositions. All viruses are stored at -70""C.
The following examples are illustrative of the invention and represent preferred embodiments. Those skilled in the art may know, or be able to find using no more than routine experimentation, to employ other appropriate Tiaterials and techniques, such as the above mentioned sectors, cultured cells and transfection methods.

Preparation of plasmids DNAs:
a) Derivation of plasmid pYF5"3"IV
As described in Rice et al, 1989, plasmid pYF5"3"IV contains the 5" terminal YF sequence (nt 1-2271) adjacent to the SP5 promoter, and the 3" terminal sequence (nt 8276-10862) adjacent to the Xhol site, which is used to linearize the template and thereby allow the production of run-off transcripts, all introduced in the pBR322 sequence. The original plasmids from which the 5" terminal YF sequence was derived are: pYF5"ext#20 (nt 1-536), p28,:: (nt 537-1964), and plO,:: (nt 1965-2271). p35:-: (nt 8275-8732), p34,;! (nt 9658-10223), pYF3"ext.#17 (nt 10224-10708) andpYF3"l#12 (nt 10709-108 62) were the original plasmids to derive the 3" terminal YF sequence (Rice et al, 1989). Plasmid pYF5"3"IV contains a unique Aatll site corresponding to nt 8406 of the YF 17D cDNA.
b) Derivation of plasmid pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2
pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 was prepared from pYFS"3"IV by carrying out two separate rounds of cloning/mutagenesis to create the

changes m nucleotides 1140, 1436/1437 in E protein, and in nucleotides 8556, 8808 and 9605 in HS5 protein. The former genetic changes were carried out by cloning a Xbal/PstI fragment into pAlter (Promega Corp.) and replacir;g the original sequence with the mutant one by resr_riction fragment exchange using Apal/Notl. The NS5 changes were introduced by cloning/mutagenesis of an EcoRI/SstI fragment in pAlter and swapping it back into the original plasmid using the same enzymes,
c) Preparation of plasmid pYFM5.2
The pYFM5.2 plasmid used was also described in Rice et al, 1989, The original plasmids from which the nucleotide sequence 1372-8704 of YF 17D cDNA was derived are: p9 ■ int 1372-1603), plOrTt (nt 1604-3823), p3::i (nt 3824-6901), p9--(nt 6902-7888) andp35,:; Xho"#19 (nt 7889-8704).
p35;i: Xho-#19 was constructed from p35:i: in which a silent C to T change at nt 8212 was introduced to destroy the Xhol site in the YF cDNA as to allow the use of Xhol to linearize the DNA templates and consequently the production of run-off transcripts.

d! Derivation of plasmid pYFM5.2/T3/27
pYFM5.2/T3/27 was prepared from pYFM5.2 by introducing an Aatll/Sall fragment which encopasses YF nts 8406-9425 and creating a BstEII site at YF nt 8656. A second mutation was introduced at posicion 8808 in NS5 protein.
Since digestion of plasmid DNAs with Aatll is diri,:u]t because it is a very finicky and expensive enzyme, a BstEII site was created at YF nt 8656 in both YF plasmids, following a digestion with Apal or Nsil to produce the appropriate restriction enzyme fragments for the ligation and regeneration of the complete genome, allowing the recovery of virus. This can also be accomplished when the restriction fragments are produced by digestion with Apal or Nsil and Sail.
The structure of each plasmid is shown in figures 3 and 4 and the complete sequence of the YF coding sequences for each plasmid is given in figure 5.
A comparison between the original YF infectious plasmid clone, YF 17 DD strain and the YF infectious cDNA clone, YFiv5.2/DD, sequences is shown in Table 3.

ei Preparation of large amounts of plasmid DNA
To prepare plasmids DNAs from bacteria, glycerol stocks of Che E. coll harboring each of the two YF plasmids muse he available. Luria Broth-SOV- glycerol media is used in the preparation of the stocks, which are stored at -lO^C, Frozen aliquots of the pDNA are also available.
The bacteria are grown in 5 ml LB containing ampicillm (15 fig/ml) overnight at 37°c. This is used to inoculate 1:100 large volumes of LB (usually 100-200 ml). At OD. of "".S, chloramphenicol is added to 250 ng/ml for the amplification of the plasmid DNA overnight. The plasmid is extracted using the alkaline lysis method. The final DNA precipitate is ressuspended in TE (Tris-EDTA buffer) and cesium chloride is added until a refraction index of 1.3890 is reached. The plasmid DNA is banded by ultracentrifugation for 24 hours. The banded DNA is recovered by puncturing the f,:be, extracting with butanol and extensive dialysis.
The yields are usually 1 mg of pDNA/liter of culture c:r pYF5"3"IVGi/2 and 0.2 mg/liter for pYFMS.2/T3/27.

Preparation of DNA template:
The template to be used for the regeneration of YF 17D virus is prepared by digesting the plasmid DNA with Nsil and Sail iPromega Inc.) in the same buffer conditions, as recomended by the manufacturer. Ten |ig of each plasmid are digested with both enzymes [the amount required is calculated in terms of the number of pmol-hits present in each pDNA in order to achieve complete digestion in 2 hours). The digestion is checked by removing an aliquot !200 ng) and running it on 0.8^; agarose/TAE gels. When the digestion is complete, the restriction enzymes are inactivated by heating.
The DNA fragments are ligated at a concentration of 2 0 Hg/ml for each fragment and T4 DNA ligase to 5 U/ml. Ligation is allowed to proceed overniglit at 15°C. The ligation mixture is heated to eS^C for 20 minutes to inactivate the T4DNA ligase and an aliquot taken out (200 r.q) .
Further digestion of the DNA resulting of the ligation is carried out by the use of Xhol, and is performed with

buffer condirions adjusted according to the manufacturer iPromegai spedficacicns in order to linearize the temolate. The resulting product is thereafter phenol-chloroform extracted and ethanol precipitated.
The precipitate is washed with 80- ethane^ and resuspended in sterile RNase-free Tris-EDTA buffer.
A template aliquot is taken for agarose gel analysis together with commercial markers for band sizing and
quantitation. The template is stored at -20°C until use for
in vitro transcription.
RNA transcription from cDNA template of the present invention:
RNA transcripts were prepared by using DNA template of the present invention, in a similar manner as described in Konarska er aJ, 198 4 and in Rice ec aJ, 1987 (Konarska, M.M.; Padgett, R.A.; Sharp, P.A. (1984) "Recognition of cap structure in splicing in vitro of mRNA precursors". Cell. 38: "731-736; Rice, CM.; Levis R.; Strauss, J.H.; Huang, H.V. (19871 "Production of infectious RNA transcriots from

Sindbis virus cDNA clones: Mapping of lethal mutations, rescue of a temperature-sensitive marker, and in vitro mutagenesis to generate defined mutants. J Virol 61: 3809-3819) . The reaction was allowed to proceed at 3 9°C for 1 hour. The mix is extracted with phenol-chloroform twice and the nucleic acid recovered by precipitation with ethanol. The precipitate is resuspended in sterile RNase-free water and an aliquot taken for specific infectivity determination.
RNA transfection:
Transfection of CEF is carried out using Lipof ect-AMINE" (Life Technologies catalogue # 18324-012. It is a 3:1 (w/w) liposome formulation of the po1yeationic lipid 2,3-dioleyloxy-N-[2{sperminecarboxiamide)ethyl]-N-N,dimethy1-2, 3-bis (9-octadecenyloxy)-l-propanaminiuin trifluoro acetate) and the neutral dioleoylphosphatidyl ethanolamine (DOPE) in membrane-filtered water) at a concentration of 20 (ig/ml in RNase-free PBS. PES - phosphate buffer saline- is prepared and sterilized by autoclaving at 121°C for 20 minutes. The LipofectAMINE is pipeted into a polystyrene 5 ml tube containing PBS. Primary CEF cells are seeded and used 2 4 hours post seeding.

The transcription mix is added to the cell culture monolayer dropwise. Cells are incubated for 20 minutes at room temperature. Thereafter, the mix is removed fcv aspiration, washed with PBS and incubated for 72 hours in 199 medium.
The culture supernatant constitute the viral stock after addition of stabilizer. The viral stock is tested for sterility, toxicity, potency and for the presence of adventitious agents. The viral stock is the original seed lor.
The specific infectivity of the transcripts is deduced from experiments in which serial dilutions of the RNA are transfected into Vero cells and these are overlaid with semi-solid medium. Staining with crystal violet for tne counting of plaques and Knowing the amount of RNA, as determined by measuring the OD (otic density) at 260 nm, will alow the determination of specific infectivity of the
-ranscripts (PFU/^g total RNA).
This determination is relevant to establishing the multiplicity of infection events that lead to the original stijok. It ensures an acceptable number of events equivalent r,j infection with live virus in order to reduce the

probability of accumulation of mutations in the viral genome given the high number of replication cycles due to low RNA input.
There are currently two methods for an efficienr. transfeetion of cultured cells with RNA. One is lipid-mediated and the other is electroporation. In the lipid-mediated method, LipofectAMINE or Lipofectin are normally used. A series of experiments using viral RNA extracted from YFiv5.2/DD-infected Vero cells allowed the comparison of the efficiency of Lipofectin and LipofectAMINE as well as the amount of RNA which provide the highest transfection yields (measured by specific infectivity titers) as related to the concentration of lipid used (concentrations ranging from 10 to 4 0 ^ig/ml) . Lipof ectAMINE is the reagent used in the present invention because it had the highest performance. The amount of RNA to be used cannot be very high. There is a limit in the amount of RNA that can be mixed with a corresponding amount of lipid to reach the best transfection efficiency, and, m consequence, the highest specific infectivity. In the present invention, it is used a ratio of the reagents ranging 0.5-2 fig of total RNA: 10-40 (ig of LipcfectAMINE per 1 ml of PBS.

preparation cf seed lots
All lots were prepared in primary cultures of CtF ufiiivi eggs derived from SPF (Specific Pathogen Free" : lock.-v. Viruses were recovered by pooling the medium present m ea^/n T-flask into centrifuge bottles and spinning at low speed ro remove cellular debris. The supernatant was aspira::ed into IL flasks containing estabilizer at 1:1 ratio and frozen slowly by rotating on an ethanol dry ice bath after removal
of all quality control aliquots. All viruses are stored ac -70°C.
Preparation of the original seed lot
The original seed lots consists of 3 separate transcription/transfection experiments carried out on different days with different bacthes of primary CEF cultures.
Primary chicken embryo fibroblasts were seeded. A total of 3 disposable T-flasks of 175 cm", containing in vizro transcribed RNA were transfected into CEF cells using LipofeetAmine-". Each T-flask provided a total of 8 0 ml of culture supernatant. In three separate transfections performed at different days and therefore with different

lots of CEF cells titers for the original seed lots were; Tl, lO" ■ (4,66 log, . pfu/ml) ; T2, lO"""" (4,87 log, pfu/ml); T3, 10 "■■ (5,46 log, pfu/ml) . Each lot provided a total volume of 480 ml of original virus. Eighty ml were used for quality control remaining 400 ml for the preparation of primary seed lot(s).
Preparation of primary seed lot
Two primary seed lots were prepared and named LPl and LP2. LPl derives from original seed lot T3 whereas LP2 derives from 12. Each was tested for sterility, potency and adventious agents with satisfactory results. The obtained volumes and titers are:

Secondary seed lots
Three secondary seed lots were prepared and named LSI, LS2 and LS3. LSI and LS2 derive from primary seed lot LPl whereas LS3 derives from LP2. Each was tested for sterility, potency and adventious agents with satisfactory results.

The obtained volumes and titers are:

Each of these seed lots should suffice for YF vaccine production using current manufacturing methodology (embryonated eggs) or the cellular system (CEF cells) for nearly 50 years at a rate of at least 50 million dosis/year.
The foregoing provides a description of the preferred embodiments, however, it should be noted that numerous structural changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

1. A vaccine composition for humans against yellow fever infection comprising a recombinant YF virus which is regenerated from YF infectious cDNA having the base sequence set forth in figure 6.
2. The vaccine composition according to claim 1 wherein the recombinant YF virus is a virus recovered from a cell culture of chicken embryo fibroblasts transfected with a YF infectious cDNA having the base sequence set forth in figure 6.
3. The vaccine composition according to claims I and 2 wherein the recombinant YF virus is present in said composition in an amount sufficient to induce immunity against said infection and wherein said composition further comprises a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
4. The vaccine composition according to claim 3 which further comprises a
pharmaceutically acceptable stabilizer.
5. A YF infectious cDNA having the base sequence set forth in figure 6.
6. A DNA construct consisting of a vector and a DNA segment bearing the 5" terminal sequence nt 1-2271 and the 3" terminal sequence nt 8276-10862 of the YF infectious cDNA of claim 5.
7. The DNA construct according to claim 6 wherein the said vector is selected from the group consisting of pBR322, pBR325, BR327, pBR328. pUC7. pUC8, pUC9, pUC 19, X phage and M13 phage.

8. The DNA construct according to claim 6 which has the structure of plasmid pYF5"3"IV/Gl/2 of figure 4.
9. The DNA construct consisting of a vector and a DNA segment bearing nt 1372 to 8704 of the YF infectious cDNA of claim 5,

10. The DNA construct according to claim 9 which has the structure of plasmid pYFM5.2/T3/27 of figure 5.
11. The DNA construct according to claims 8, 9 and 10 wherein the said vector is selected from the group consisting of pBR322, pBR325, BR327, pBR32S, pUC7, pUC8, pUC9, pUC19, X phage and M13 phage.
12. A recombinant YF virus which is regenerated from YF infectious cDNA having the base sequence set forth in figure 6.
13. The recombinant YF virus according to claim !2 which is a virus recovered fi-om a cell culture of chicken embryo fibroblasts transfected with a YF infectious cDNA having the base sequence set forth in figure 6.
14. A method for producing recombinant YF virus comprising the steps of;
a. transfecting cells with YF infectious cDNA of claim 5;
b. culturing said cells under conditions sufficient for the cellular production of
recombinant YF virus; and
c. harvesting said recombinant YF virus which is a YF ITDD-like virus.

15. The method according to claim 14 wherein the said YF infectious cDNA is the
cDNA as set forth in figure 6.
16. The method according to claims 14 and 15 wherein the said cells are selected irom the group consisting of Hela (derived from carcinoma of human uterine cervix), CV-1 (derived from monkey kidney), BSC-1 (derived from monkey kidney), RK 13 (derived from rabbit kidney), L929 (derived from mouse connective tissue), CE (chicken embryo) cell, CEF (chicken embryo fibroblast), SW-13 (derived from human adrenocortical carcinoma), BHK-21 (baby hammster kidney). Vero (african green monkey kidney) and LLC-MK2 (Rhesus monkey kidney (Macaca mulata)).
17. The method according to claim 14 wherein the said cells are CEF.


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668-mas-1998 claims-duplicate.pdf

668-mas-1998 claims.pdf

668-mas-1998 correspondence-others.pdf

668-mas-1998 correspondence-po.pdf

668-mas-1998 description (complete)-duplicate.pdf

668-mas-1998 description (complete).pdf

668-mas-1998 drawings-duplicate.pdf

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668-mas-1998 form-18.pdf

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668-mas-1998 form-26.pdf

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668-mas-1998 form-6.pdf

668-mas-1998 petition.pdf

Patent Number 228220
Indian Patent Application Number 668/MAS/1998
PG Journal Number 10/2009
Publication Date 06-Mar-2009
Grant Date 28-Jan-2009
Date of Filing 30-Mar-1998
Applicant Address AVENIDA BRASIL 4365, MANGUINHOS, 21045-900 RIO DE JANEIRO,
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
PCT International Classification Number A61K 039/285
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 PI 9701774-4 1997-04-11 Brazil