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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neutralization-resistant variants of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus have altered virulence and tissue tropism.

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus that causes an acute disease in salmon and trout. In this study, a correlation between changes in tissue tropism and specific changes in the virus genome appeared to be made by examining four IHNV neutralization-resistant variants (RB-1, RB-2, RB-3, and RB-4) that had been selected with the glycoprotein (G)-specific monoclonal antibody RB/B5. These variants were compared with the parental strain (RB-76) for their virulence and pathogenicity in rainbow trout after waterborne challenge. Variants RB-2, RB-3, and RB-4 were only slightly attenuated and showed distributions of viral antigen in the livers and hematopoietic tissues of infected fish similar to those of the parental strain. Variant RB-1, however, was highly attenuated and the tissue distribution of viral antigen in RB-1-infected fish was markedly different, with more viral antigen in brain tissue. The sequences of the G genes of all four variants and RB-76 were determined. No significant changes were found for the slightly attenuated variants, but RB-1 G had two changes at amino acids 78 and 218 that dramatically altered its predicted secondary structure. These changes are thought to be responsible for the altered tissue tropism of the virus. Thus, IHNV G, like that of rabies virus and vesicular stomatitis virus, plays an integral part in the pathogenesis of viral infection.[1]


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