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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2005 Jun 30;90(7):793-804.

Arrested spread of vesicular stomatitis virus infections in vitro depends on interferon-mediated antiviral activity.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, 1415 Engineering Drive, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1607, USA.


A quantitative understanding of the innate immune response will enable its recruitment against emerging, poorly characterized, or weaponized viral pathogens. To gain insights into how the innate responses can limit viral spread, we used quantitative focal infections to study how the spread of recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV) on baby hamster kidney (BHK) and delayed brain tumor (DBT) cell monolayers is affected by innate cellular antiviral responses. We observed that rates of infection spread correlated with one-step growth rankings for four ectopic VSV strains: N1, N2, N3, and N4. However, this correlation was lost for M51R, a recombinant VSV mutant that lacks the ability to shut-off host gene expression. In BHK cells, M51R spread at two-thirds the rate of the recombinant control virus, XK3.1, even though their one-step growth was comparable. In DBT cells, M51R infections failed to spread beyond the site of inoculation. Addition of anti-interferon antibody restored M51R spread and one-step growth to wild-type levels. Interestingly, the antibody enhanced the spread of wild-type virus but not its growth. These results suggest that while the rate of viral spread generally correlates with the rate of viral growth, the induction of cellular antiviral activities can be in some cases, the overriding factor in both spread and growth. In summary, focal infections enabled us to visualize and quantify how viral spread was inhibited by cellular antiviral activities. This study demonstrates a mechanism for quantifying how innate cellular responses can mitigate infection spread in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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