1887

Abstract

Lepidopteran larvae resist baculovirus infection by selective apoptosis of infected midgut epithelial cells and by sloughing off infected cells from the midgut. Once the infection breaches the midgut epithelial barrier and propagates from infective foci to the haemocoel, however, there are few mechanisms known to account for the resistance and clearance of infection observed in some virus–host combinations. The hypothesis that factors present in the plasma of infected pest larvae act to limit the spread of virus from initial infective foci within the haemocoel was tested. An bioassay was developed in which single capsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (SNPV) was incubated with plasma collected from uninfected larvae. Infectious SNPV particles were then titrated on AM1 cells. Diluted plasma from larval exhibited a virucidal effect against SNPV , reducing the TCID ml by more than 64-fold (from 4·3±3·6×10 to 6·7±0·6×10). The antiviral activity was heat-labile but was unaffected by freezing. In addition, protease inhibitors and specific chemical inhibitors of phenol oxidase or prophenol oxidase activation added to diluted plasma eliminated the virucidal activity. Thus, in the plasma of larval lepidopterans, the enzyme phenol oxidase may act as a constitutive, humoral innate antiviral immune response.

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2004-08-01
2019-11-18
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