Two non-virogenic Vero cell lines persistently infected with the arenavirus Junin (JUNV), named V3 and V7, were characterized with respect to their resistance to superinfection with homologous and antigenically related viruses. Both lines were refractory to JUNV multiplication and partially resistant to other arenaviruses. JUNV was able to adsorb and penetrate persistently infected cells and, although V3 and V7 were able to support synthesis of antigenomic sense viral RNA, protein production of superinfecting virus was totally blocked. This resistance was not mediated by defective interfering particles but rather by a “cell-associated factor” that could be cell to cell transmitted. Prolonged thermal treatment of V3 and V7 abrogated expression of the viral nucleoprotein (N) and turned persistently infected cells permissive to JUNV multiplication. Thermal treated cells cultured at 37 °C resumed the expression of N in association to the recovery of resistance. Results strongly suggest a correlation between the presence of the viral nucleoprotein and superinfection exclusion.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2004
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