Characterizing Multiple Mechanisms of Superinfection Exclusion in Pseudorabies Virus Infection

Jonathan Einterz Owen and Dr. Matthew P. Taylor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University, 100 Culbertson Hall, Bozeman MT 59717

Pseudorabies Virus (PRV) is a neuroinvasive herpesvirus of lower-order mammals which is frequently used as a model organism for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Both viruses can cause severe neurological damage, but normally result in the establishment of a lifelong, latent viral reservoir in host neuronal ganglia. HSV and PRV are capable of a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion (SIE), a virally mediated process by which an already-infected cell becomes refractory to a second infection, or superinfection. This process is predicted to influence the rate of viral recombination and thereby impact the genotypic diversity of viral populations. SIE presents intriguing prospects for treatment and control of a herpesvirus infection – if SIE’s underlying mechanisms can be understood, it may be possible to harness them to prevent an initial infection.

PRV and HSV possess two known mechanisms for establishing SIE – one mediated by the viral glycoprotein gD, and a gD-independent mechanism whose effector proteins have not been determined. The interactions between these two mechanisms are unknown, as is the relative importance of each. We hypothesized that the impact of each mechanism would depend on the multiplicity of infection (MOI – the number of virions attempting infection per cell). To address this question, we used cell culture experiments to evaluate PRV’s SIE phenotype in response to varying MOIs. Our results show that SIE can be overcome when the MOI of superinfection is greater than the MOI of the initial infection, regardless of the primary or secondary MOI. Additionally, we are testing if this MOI dependence of SIE requires gD expression through infections with a gD-null PRV mutant.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Jonathan Owen

Institution: Montana State University Bozeman

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 2
Date/Time: Mon 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 2576