Modulation of early host innate immune response by a Fowlpox virus (FWPV) lateral body protein

Efstathios S Giotis, Stephen M Laidlaw, Susanna R Bidgood, David Albrecht, Jemima J Burden, Rebecca C Robey, Jason Mercer, Michael A Skinner

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


The avian pathogen, fowlpox virus (FWPV) has been successfully used as vaccine vector in poultry and humans but relatively little is known about its ability to modulate host antiviral immune responses in these hosts, which are replication permissive and non-permissive, respectively. FWPV is highly resistant to avian type I interferon (IFN) and able to completely block the host IFN-response. Microarray screening of host IFN-regulated gene expression in cells infected with 59 different, non-essential FWPV gene knock-out mutants revealed that FPV184 confers immunomodulatory capacity. We report that FPV184-knockout virus (FWPVΔ184) induces the cellular IFN response as early as 2 hours post-infection. The wild-type, uninduced phenotype can be rescued by transient expression of FPV184 in FWPVΔ184-infected cells. Ectopic expression of FPV184 inhibited polyI:C activation of the chicken IFN-β promoter and IFN-α activation of the chicken Mx promoter. Confocal and correlative super-resolution light and electron microscopy demonstrated that FPV184 has a functional nuclear localisation signal domain and is packaged in the lateral bodies of the virions. Taken together, these results provide a paradigm for a late poxvirus structural protein packaged in the lateral bodies and capable of supressing IFN induction early during the next round of infection.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2020


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