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Cultivation and partial characterization of bovine astrovirus

Cultivation and partial characterization of bovine astrovirus

Veterinary Microbiology 19(2): 113-126

Bovine astrovirus serotype 2 (US2) was adapted to primary neonatal kidney cell (NBK) cultures by the addition of 50 .mu.g ml-1 of trypsin in the medium. Infectious virus was released from the cells within 7 days post-infection in early passages and within 3 days in later passages. In the absence of trypsin, neither passage of infected cells nor release of infectious virus occurred. The virus was shown to be similar to the fetal astrovirus by a neutralization test and by ultrastructural studies of infected cells. Primary embryo bovine kidney (EBK) and NBK cell cultures supported infection with both fecal and tissue culture adapated (TCA) astrovirus. The time-related development of infection, as studied by immunofluorescence, was similar for both fecal and TCA astrovirus and for both cell culture types. The first indication of viral infection and expression of viral antigens occurred at 7 h post-infection and was characterized by the appearance of a diffuse faint immunofluorescence (IF) of the cytoplasm. Soon after, two or three brilliant IF granules were observed in the nucleus, which appeared to involve the nucleoli. Subsequently, dense granular IF was seen in the perinuclear region of the cytoplasm, which later extended to involve all the cytoplasmic area. In both EBK and NBK cultures infected with either fecal or tissue culture adapted astrovirus, only a minority of cells became infected, even when the multiplicity of infection exceeded one. Occasionally 10-20% of cells were infected, but in most cultures the proportion did not exceed 2% and in NBK cultures, from 3/9 calves, no infected cells were observed. The virus did not infect bovine cell lines. Infectivity of the virus was not removed by treatment with chloroform, and iododeoxyuridine and actinomycin D when added to the medium, did not block replication. Masses of virions were observed by electron microscopy in discrete areas in the cytoplasm, with similar distributions as the viral antigen foci as seen by IF. The mean diameter of the virions was 34 nm. In conclusion, bovine astrovirus lacks both essential lipids and an envelope, probably has an RNA genome, may have a nuclear phase of replication involving the nucleoli which is not blocked by DNA inhibitors, and has a selective cell tropism.

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Accession: 001790077

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PMID: 2495698

DOI: 10.1016/0378-1135(89)90077-1

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