Double-Stranded RNA Is Detected by Immunofluorescence Analysis in RNA and DNA Virus Infections, Including Those by Negative-Stranded RNA Viruses.
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
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Early biochemical studies of viral replication suggested that most viruses produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which is essential for the induction of the host immune response. However, it was reported in 2006 that dsRNA could be detected by immunofluorescence antibody staining in double-stranded DNA and positive-strand RNA virus infections but not in negative-strand RNA virus infections. Other reports in the literature seemed to support these observations. This suggested that negative-strand RNA viruses produce little, if any, dsRNA or that more efficient viral countermeasures to mask dsRNA are mounted. Because of our interest in the use of dsRNA antibodies for virus discovery, particularly in pathological specimens, we wanted to determine how universal immunostaining for dsRNA might be in animal virus infections. We have detected the in situ formation of dsRNA in cells infected with vesicular stomatitis virus, measles virus, influenza A virus, and Nyamanini virus, which represent viruses from different negative-strand RNA virus families. dsRNA was also detected in cells infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, an ambisense RNA virus, and minute virus of mice (MVM), a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) parvovirus, but not hepatitis B virus. Although dsRNA staining was primarily observed in the cytoplasm, it was also seen in the nucleus of cells infected with influenza A virus, Nyamanini virus, and MVM. Thus, it is likely that most animal virus infections produce dsRNA species that can be detected by immunofluorescence staining. The apoptosis induced in several uninfected cell lines failed to upregulate dsRNA formation. IMPORTANCE: An effective antiviral host immune response depends on recognition of viral invasion and an intact innate immune system as a first line of defense. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is a viral product essential for the induction of innate immunity, leading to the production of type I interferons (IFNs) and the activation of hundreds of IFN-stimulated genes. The present study demonstrates that infections, including those by ssDNA viruses and positive- and negative-strand RNA viruses, produce dsRNAs detectable by standard immunofluorescence staining. While dsRNA staining was primarily observed in the cytoplasm, nuclear staining was also present in some RNA and DNA virus infections. The nucleus is unlikely to have pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) receptors for dsRNA because of the presence of host dsRNA molecules. Thus, it is likely that most animal virus infections produce dsRNA species detectable by immunofluorescence staining, which may prove useful in viral discovery as well.