Three Aedes albopictus (mosquito) cell lines persistently infected with Sindbis virus excluded the replication of both homologous (various strains of Sindbis) and heterologous (Aura, Semliki Forest, and Ross River) alphaviruses. In contrast, an unrelated flavivirus, yellow fever virus, replicated equally well in uninfected and persistently infected cells of each line. Sindbis virus and Semliki Forest virus are among the most distantly related alphaviruses, and our results thus indicate that mosquito cells persistently infected with Sindbis virus are broadly able to exclude other alphaviruses but that exclusion is restricted to members of the alphavirus genus. Superinfection exclusion occurred to the same extent in three biologically distinct cell clones, indicating that the expression of superinfection exclusion is conserved among A. albopictus cell types. Superinfection of persistently infected C7-10 cells, which show a severe cytopathic effect during primary Sindbis virus infection, by homologous virus does not produce cytopathology, consistent with the idea that cytopathology requires significant levels of viral replication. A possible model for the molecular basis of superinfection exclusion, which suggests a central role for the alphavirus trans-acting protease that processes the nonstructural proteins, is discussed in light of these results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science