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Identification and Profiling of a Novel Bombyx mori latent virus Variant Acutely Infecting Helicoverpa armigera and Trichoplusia ni

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Insect cell expression systems are increasingly being used in the medical industry to develop vaccines against diseases such as COVID-19. However, viral infections are common in these systems, making it necessary to thoroughly characterize the viruses present. One such virus is Bombyx mori latent virus (BmLV), which is known to be specific to Bombyx mori and to have low pathogenicity. However, there has been little research on the tropism and virulence of BmLV. In this study, we examined the genomic diversity of BmLV and identified a variant that persistently infects Trichoplusia ni-derived High Five cells. We also assessed the pathogenicity of this variant and its effects on host responses using both in vivo and in vitro systems. Our results showed that this BmLV variant causes acute infections with strong cytopathic effects in both systems. Furthermore, we characterized the RNAi-based immune response in the T. ni cell line and in Helicoverpa armigera animals by assessing the regulation of RNAi-related genes and profiling the generated viral small RNAs. Overall, our findings shed light on the prevalence and infectious properties of BmLV. We also discuss the potential impact of virus genomic diversity on experimental outcomes, which can help interpret past and future research results.
Journal: Viruses
ISSN: 1999-4915
Issue: 5
Volume: 15
Publication year:2023