Previous studies have shown that the FMDV Asia1/YS/CHA/05 high-fidelity mutagen-resistant variants are attenuated (Zeng et al., 2014). Here, we introduced the same single or multiple-amino-acid substitutions responsible for increased 3Dpol fidelity of type Asia1 FMDV into the type O FMDV O/YS/CHA/05 infectious clone. The rescued viruses O-DA and O-DAMM are lower replication fidelity mutants and showed an attenuated phenotype. These results demonstrated that the same amino acid substitution of 3Dpol in different serotypes of FMDV strains had different effects on viral fidelity. In addition, nucleoside analogues were used to select high-fidelity mutagen-resistant type O FMDV variants. The rescued mutagen-resistant type O FMDV high-fidelity variants exhibited significantly attenuated fitness and a reduced virulence phenotype. These results have important implications for understanding the molecular mechanism of FMDV evolution and pathogenicity, especially in developing a safer modified live-attenuated vaccine against FMDV.
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