Quantification of viral replication underlies investigations into host-virus interactions. In Drosophila melanogaster, persistent infections with Drosophila C virus, Drosophila A virus, and Nora virus are commonly observed in nature and in laboratory fly stocks. However, traditional endpoint dilution assays to quantify infectious titers are not compatible with persistently infecting isolates of these viruses that do not cause cytopathic effects in cell culture. Here we present a novel assay based on immunological detection of Drosophila C virus infection that allows quantification of infectious titers for a wider range of Drosophila C virus isolates. We also describe strand specific RT-qPCR assays for quantification of viral negative strand RNA produced during Drosophila C virus, Drosophila A virus, and Nora virus infection. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of these assays for quantification of viral replication during oral infections and persistent infections with each virus.
Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; ELISA; RT-qPCR; virology; virus quantification.
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