Volume 116 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 49-76

Iridoviruses Infecting Terrestrial Isopods and Nematodes

  • R. T. HessAffiliated withDivision of Entomology and Parasitology, University of California
  • , G. O. PoinarJr.Affiliated withDivision of Entomology and Parasitology, University of California

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Iridoviruses of terrestrial isopods (IIV) were first described in detail in 1980 (Federici 1980; Cole and Morris 1980) although the distinct purple to blue iridescent coloration produced in infected individuals had been noticed by many individuals long before. The iridovirus isolated from the pillbug, Armadillidium vulgare was designated type 31 and that from the sowbug, Porcellio dilatatus, type 32 (Federici 1980), although it was suggested that they were in fact the same virus. Cole and Morris (1980) characterized the iridoviruses from A. vulgare and Porcellio scaber and determined that they were indeed identical in structural appearance, in biochemical properties, and serologically. This same iridovirus was subsequently discovered to infect the mermithid nematode Thaumamermis cosgrovei which is a parasite of the aforementioned isopods (Poinar et al. 1980). Although an iridovirus had been reported replicating in another crustacean, the freshwater daphnid Simocephalus expinosus (Federici and Hazard 1975), the Iridoviridae had never before been observed in the phylum Nematoda.