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Vesicle-encapsulated nonenveloped viruses are a recently recognized alternate form of nonenveloped viruses that can avoid immune detection and potentially increase systemic transmission. Avian orthoreoviruses (ARVs) are the leading cause of various disease conditions among birds and poultry. However, whether ARVs use cellular vesicle trafficking routes for egress and cell-to-cell transmission is still poorly understood. We demonstrated that fusogenic ARV-infected quail cells generated small (~100 nm diameter) extracellular vesicles (EVs) that contained electron-dense material when observed by transmission electron microscope. Cryo-EM tomography indicated that these vesicles did not contain ARV virions or core particles, but the EV fractions of OptiPrep gradients did contain a small percent of the ARV virions released from cells. Western blotting of detergent-treated EVs revealed that soluble virus proteins and the fusogenic p10 FAST protein were contained within the EVs. Notably, virus particles mixed with the EVs were up to 50 times more infectious than virions alone. These results suggest that EVs and perhaps fusogenic FAST-EVs could contribute to ARV virulence.


Zuopei Wang, Menghan He, Han He, Kyle Kilby, Roberto de Antueno, Elizabeth Castle, Nichole McMullen, Zhuoyu Qian, Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Roy Duncan, Chungen Pan. Nonenveloped Avian Reoviruses Released with Small Extracellular Vesicles Are Highly Infectious. Viruses. 2023 Jul 23;15(7)

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PMID: 37515296

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