Development and characterization of a model system to study amphibian immune responses to iridoviruses

Virology. 2003 Jul 5;311(2):254-62. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6822(03)00151-x.


The recent realization that viruses within the family Iridoviridae may contribute to the worldwide decline in amphibians makes it urgent to understand amphibian antiviral immune defenses. We present evidence that establishes the frog Xenopus laevis as an important model with which to study anti-iridovirus immunity. Adults resist high doses of FV3 infection, showing only transitory signs of pathology. By contrast, naturally MHC class-I-deficient tadpoles are highly susceptible to FV3 infection. Monitoring of viral DNA by PCR indicates a preferential localization of FV3 DNA in the kidney, with the inbred MHC homozygous J strain appearing to be more susceptible. Clearance of virus as measured by detection of FV3 DNA and also the disappearance of pathological and behavioral symptoms of infection, acceleration of viral clearance, and detection of IgY anti-FV3 antibodies after a second injection of FV3 are all consistent with the involvement of both cellular and humoral adaptive antiviral immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Virus Infections / veterinary
  • Fibroblasts / virology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Homozygote
  • Iridoviridae / immunology*
  • Kidney / virology
  • Larva / virology
  • Lymphocytes / virology
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / immunology
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis / immunology*
  • Xenopus laevis / virology*