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Volume 33, Number 1, March 2000

Identification of virus-specific vesicles in Giardiavirus-infected Giardia lamblia

Shiou-Jeng Ong, Jung-Hsiang Tai
Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, ROC



Giardiavirus (GLV), which infects the parasitic protozoan Giardia lamblia, is a nonsegmented double-stranded (ds) ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus. We previously purified two distinct types of related GLV from infected G. lamblia, and showed differential export of one of the viruses from infected cells. In the present study, fractionation of cell lysate was performed, revealing the presence of viruses in the membranous fraction. Distribution of viral antigens in the infected cells was examined by immunocytochemistry. The signal was enriched in certain regions of the cytoplasm, suggesting that a portion of GLV is confined to certain cellular compartments. A significantly reduced signal was also detected in the nuclei. We directly observed the viruses in the infected cells by electron microscopy. Consistent with previous observations, virus-like particles were clearly observed in some membranous vesicles in the cytoplasm at 48 h postinfection, and virus-like particles were again seen in the cytoplasm and then in the nuclei toward the late phase of virus infection. The virus-associated vesicles and some electron-dense nuclear structures were only observed in virus-infected cells, suggesting that virus infection may induce ultrastructural alteration of G. lamblia.


J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2000;33:9-13.