Chimera (virus)

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A chimera virus is defined by the Center for Veterinary Biologics (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) as a "new hybrid microorganism created by joining nucleic acid fragments from two or more different microorganisms in which each of at least two of the fragments contain essential genes necessary for replication."[1] The term chimera already referred to an individual organism whose body contained cell populations from different zygotes or an organism that developed from portions of different embryos. In mythology, a chimera is a creature such as a hippogriff or a gryphon formed from parts of different animals, thus the name for these viruses. Chimeric flaviviruses have been created in an attempt to make novel live attenuated vaccines.[2]


  1. ^ Center for Veterinary Biologics Notice No. 05-23. USDA website. Dec.8, 2005
  2. ^ "Chimeric flaviviruses: novel vaccines against dengue fever, tick-borne encephalitis, and Japanese encephalitis". Adv Virus Res. 61: 469–509. 2003. PMID 14714441.