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J Gen Virol. 2002 Jul;83(Pt 7):1565-72.

Lack of involvement of haemocytes in the establishment and spread of infection in Spodoptera frugiperda larvae infected with the baculovirus Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus by intrahaemocoelic injection.

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Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Program, Division of Biology, 232 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


It is thought that insect haemocytes, or blood cells, play an important role in baculovirus pathogenesis by amplifying and helping to spread the infection within the insect. Here, infection is described of the lepidopteran noctuid species Spodoptera frugiperda with the baculovirus Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV). Late instar S. frugiperda larvae were infected by intrahaemocoelic injection using a recombinant of AcMNPV expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein gene to visualize infected cells. Approximately 1000-fold higher doses of injected virus were required to initiate infection in S. frugiperda larvae than in another permissive noctuid species, Trichoplusia ni. Infected S. frugiperda larvae survived twice as long as T. ni larvae and exhibited a slower build-up of virus in the haemolymph. In S. frugiperda, infection of fat body and epithelium was observed prior to significant infection of haemocytes, even though the virus was delivered by intrahaemocoelic injection. Expression of eGFP was first detected 12-18 h post-injection within the fat body and, by 24 h, infection had spread to the tracheal and body wall epithelium. In contrast, only 5% of haemocytes were infected at 24 h and the proportion of infected haemocytes increased slowly to only around 50% at 5 days post-infection, when most larval death occurred. Thus, in S. frugiperda, haemocytes do not appear to have a primary role in AcMNPV pathogenesis. This relative lack of infection of haemocytes may in part explain why S. frugiperda larvae are more resistant to AcMNPV infection than T. ni larvae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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