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Isolation, identification, and characterization of novel arenaviruses, the etiological agents of boid inclusion body disease


Hetzel, U; Sironen, T; Laurinmäki, P; Liljeroos, L; Patjas, A; Henttonen, H; Vaheri, A; Artelt, A; Kipar, A; Butcher, S J; Vapalahti, O; Hepojoki, J (2013). Isolation, identification, and characterization of novel arenaviruses, the etiological agents of boid inclusion body disease. Journal of Virology, 87(20):10918-10935.

Abstract

Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) is a progressive, usually fatal disease of constrictor snakes, characterized by cytoplasmic inclusion bodies (IB) in a wide range of cell types. To identify the causative agent of the disease, we established cell cultures from BIBD-positive and -negative boa constrictors. The IB phenotype was maintained in cultured cells of affected animals, and supernatants from these cultures caused the phenotype in cultures originating from BIBD-negative snakes. Viruses were purified from the supernatants by ultracentrifugation and subsequently identified as arenaviruses. Purified virus also induced the IB phenotype in naive cells, which fulfilled Koch's postulates in vitro. One isolate, tentatively designated University of Helsinki virus (UHV), was studied in depth. Sequencing confirmed that UHV is a novel arenavirus species that is distinct from other known arenaviruses including those recently identified in snakes with BIBD. The morphology of UHV was established by cryoelectron tomography and subtomographic averaging, revealing the trimeric arenavirus spike structure at 3.2-nm resolution. Immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting with a polyclonal rabbit antiserum against UHV and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) revealed the presence of genetically diverse arenaviruses in a large cohort of snakes with BIBD, confirming the causative role of arenaviruses. Some snakes were also found to carry arenavirus antibodies. Furthermore, mammalian cells (Vero E6) were productively infected with UHV, demonstrating the potential of arenaviruses to cross species barriers. In conclusion, we propose the newly identified lineage of arenaviruses associated with BIBD as a novel taxonomic entity, boid inclusion body disease-associated arenaviruses (BIBDAV), in the family Arenaviridae.

Abstract

Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) is a progressive, usually fatal disease of constrictor snakes, characterized by cytoplasmic inclusion bodies (IB) in a wide range of cell types. To identify the causative agent of the disease, we established cell cultures from BIBD-positive and -negative boa constrictors. The IB phenotype was maintained in cultured cells of affected animals, and supernatants from these cultures caused the phenotype in cultures originating from BIBD-negative snakes. Viruses were purified from the supernatants by ultracentrifugation and subsequently identified as arenaviruses. Purified virus also induced the IB phenotype in naive cells, which fulfilled Koch's postulates in vitro. One isolate, tentatively designated University of Helsinki virus (UHV), was studied in depth. Sequencing confirmed that UHV is a novel arenavirus species that is distinct from other known arenaviruses including those recently identified in snakes with BIBD. The morphology of UHV was established by cryoelectron tomography and subtomographic averaging, revealing the trimeric arenavirus spike structure at 3.2-nm resolution. Immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting with a polyclonal rabbit antiserum against UHV and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) revealed the presence of genetically diverse arenaviruses in a large cohort of snakes with BIBD, confirming the causative role of arenaviruses. Some snakes were also found to carry arenavirus antibodies. Furthermore, mammalian cells (Vero E6) were productively infected with UHV, demonstrating the potential of arenaviruses to cross species barriers. In conclusion, we propose the newly identified lineage of arenaviruses associated with BIBD as a novel taxonomic entity, boid inclusion body disease-associated arenaviruses (BIBDAV), in the family Arenaviridae.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:30 Jan 2014 10:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 01:54
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01123-13
PubMed ID:23926354

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