Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Persistent Reptarenavirus and Hartmanivirus Infection in Cultured Boid Cells


Lintala, Annika; Szirovicza, Leonora; Kipar, Anja; Hetzel, Udo; Hepojoki, Jussi (2022). Persistent Reptarenavirus and Hartmanivirus Infection in Cultured Boid Cells. Microbiology Spectrum, 10(4):e0158522.

Abstract

Mammarenaviruses establish a persistent infection in their rodent and bat hosts, and the evidence suggests that reptarenaviruses and hartmaniviruses found in captive snakes act similarly. In snakes, reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD), which is often associated with secondary infections. Snakes with BIBD usually carry more than a single pair of reptarenavirus S and L segments and occasionally demonstrate hartmanivirus coinfection. Here, we reported the generation of cell lines persistently infected with a single or two reptarenavirus(es) and a cell line with persistent reptarenavirus-hartmanivirus coinfection. By RT-PCR we demonstrated that the amount of viral RNA within the persistently infected cells remains at levels similar to those observed following initial infection. Using antibodies against the glycoproteins (GPs) and nucleoprotein (NP) of reptarenaviruses, we studied the levels of viral protein in cells passaged 10 times after the original inoculation and observed that the expression of GPs declines dramatically during persistent infection, unlike the expression of NP. Immunofluorescence (IF) staining served to demonstrate differences in the distribution of NP within the persistently infected compared to freshly infected cells. IF staining of cells inoculated with the viruses secreted from the persistently infected cell lines produced similar NP staining compared to cells infected with a traditionally passaged virus, suggesting that the altered NP expression pattern of persistently infected cells does not relate to changes in the virus. The cell cultures described herein can serve as tools for studying the coinfection and superinfection interplay between reptarenaviruses and studying the BIBD pathogenesis mechanisms. IMPORTANCE Mammarenaviruses cause a persistent infection in their natural rodent and bat hosts. Reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) in constrictor snakes, but it is unclear whether snakes are the natural host of these viruses. In this study, we showed that reptarenaviruses established a persistent infection in cultured Boa constrictor cells and that the persistently infected cells continued to produce infectious virus. Our results showed that persistent infection results from subsequent passaging of cells inoculated with a single reptarenavirus, two reptarenaviruses, or even when inoculating the cells with reptarenavirus and hartmanivirus (another arenavirus genus). The results further suggested that coinfection would not result in overt competition between the different reptarenaviruses, thus helping to explain the frequent reptarenavirus coinfections in snakes with BIBD. The established cell culture models of persistent infection could help to elucidate the role of coinfection and superinfection and potential immunosuppression as the pathogenic mechanisms behind BIBD.

Abstract

Mammarenaviruses establish a persistent infection in their rodent and bat hosts, and the evidence suggests that reptarenaviruses and hartmaniviruses found in captive snakes act similarly. In snakes, reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD), which is often associated with secondary infections. Snakes with BIBD usually carry more than a single pair of reptarenavirus S and L segments and occasionally demonstrate hartmanivirus coinfection. Here, we reported the generation of cell lines persistently infected with a single or two reptarenavirus(es) and a cell line with persistent reptarenavirus-hartmanivirus coinfection. By RT-PCR we demonstrated that the amount of viral RNA within the persistently infected cells remains at levels similar to those observed following initial infection. Using antibodies against the glycoproteins (GPs) and nucleoprotein (NP) of reptarenaviruses, we studied the levels of viral protein in cells passaged 10 times after the original inoculation and observed that the expression of GPs declines dramatically during persistent infection, unlike the expression of NP. Immunofluorescence (IF) staining served to demonstrate differences in the distribution of NP within the persistently infected compared to freshly infected cells. IF staining of cells inoculated with the viruses secreted from the persistently infected cell lines produced similar NP staining compared to cells infected with a traditionally passaged virus, suggesting that the altered NP expression pattern of persistently infected cells does not relate to changes in the virus. The cell cultures described herein can serve as tools for studying the coinfection and superinfection interplay between reptarenaviruses and studying the BIBD pathogenesis mechanisms. IMPORTANCE Mammarenaviruses cause a persistent infection in their natural rodent and bat hosts. Reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) in constrictor snakes, but it is unclear whether snakes are the natural host of these viruses. In this study, we showed that reptarenaviruses established a persistent infection in cultured Boa constrictor cells and that the persistently infected cells continued to produce infectious virus. Our results showed that persistent infection results from subsequent passaging of cells inoculated with a single reptarenavirus, two reptarenaviruses, or even when inoculating the cells with reptarenavirus and hartmanivirus (another arenavirus genus). The results further suggested that coinfection would not result in overt competition between the different reptarenaviruses, thus helping to explain the frequent reptarenavirus coinfections in snakes with BIBD. The established cell culture models of persistent infection could help to elucidate the role of coinfection and superinfection and potential immunosuppression as the pathogenic mechanisms behind BIBD.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

44 downloads since deposited on 06 Jan 2023
38 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Physiology
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Infectious Diseases, Cell Biology, Microbiology (medical), Genetics, General Immunology and Microbiology, Ecology, Physiology
Language:English
Date:31 August 2022
Deposited On:06 Jan 2023 09:26
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:2165-0497
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.01585-22
PubMed ID:35862992
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)