, Volume 92, Issue 3-4, pp 273-291

An electron and immunoelectron microscopic study of dengue-2 virus infection of cultured mosquito cells: Maturation events

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Summary

The maturation process of dengue-2 virus in C6/36 mosquito cells was studied by electron microscopy at 12, 16, 24, 48, and 78 hours postinoculation (p.i.) and by immunoelectron microscopy at 48 and 78 hours p.i. Maturing virions appeared within cytoplasmic vacuoles and on the surface of infected cells from 24 hours p.i. onward in close topographical relationship to the dense particles that occurred concurrently in the cytoplasm. The dense particles measured 25 to 35 nm in diameter; the mature virions measured 50 to 55 nm in diameter, with a dense core measuring 30 to 35 nm in diameter covered by a 10 nm-thick membrane envelope. The morphological observations indicated that the dense particles were dengue nucleocapsids assembled in the cytoplasm and that they apparently budded into the vacuolar lumens and the extracellular space at the vacuolar and plasma membranes, acquiring membrane envelopes and becoming mature virions in the process. The virions that budded into the vacuolar lumens were released extracellularly by exocytosis. In the samples tested with dengue-2 polyclonal antibodies, intense immunostaining occurred at the sites of virus budding on the cell surface; host cell membrane and cytoplasm adjacent to the budding virions stained less intensely. In the samples tested with a dengue-2 monoclonal antibody specific for the envelope glycoprotein, budding virions stained rather exclusively, with no staining occurring in adjacent host membrane or cytoplasm.

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