Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the essential infectious agent of post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), one of the most important diseases of swine. Although several studies have described different biological properties of the virus, some aspects of its replication cycle, including ultrastructural alterations, remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to describe for the first time a complete morphogenesis study of PCV2 in a clone of the lymphoblastoid L35 cell line at the ultrastructural level using electron microscopy techniques. Cells were infected with PCV2 at a multiplicity of infection of 10 and examined at 0, 6, 12, 24, 48, 60 and 72. h post-infection. PCV2 was internalized by endocytosis, after which the virus aggregated in intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies (ICIs). Subsequently, PCV2 was closely associated with mitochondria, completing a first cytoplasmic phase. The virus entered the nucleus for replication and virus assembly and encapsidation occurred with the participation of the nuclear membrane. Immature virions left the nucleus and formed ICIs in a second cytoplasmic phase. The results suggest that at the end of the replication cycle (between 24 and 48. h), PCV2 was released either by budding of mature virion clusters or by lysis of apoptotic or dead cells. In conclusion, the L35-derived clone represents a suitable in-vitro model for PCV2 morphogenesis studies and characterization of the PCV2 replication cycle. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
- Electron microscopy
- Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)