Analysis of parvovirus infections using strand-specific hybridization probes

Marshall E. Bloom, Soren Alexandersen, Shiro Mori, James B. Wolfinbarger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The autonomous parvoviruses cause a broad spectrum of acute and chronic infections of animals and man. The discrimination of sites of viral replication from sites of viral sequestration is an important goal in elucidating the pathogenesis of these diseases. It is possible to employ strand-specific RNA hybridization probes in such analyses because a 'plus' sense probe will react with single stranded virion DNA and duplex replicative form DNA, but a 'minus' sense probe will react preferentially with obligate replicative intermediates (duplex replicative form DNA and mRNA). Strand-specific RNA hybridization probes were developed for the Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV) and were used to study acute and chronic infections of mink. Such probes were capable of differentiating replicative intermediates (duplex replicative form DNA and mRNA) from single-stranded virion DNA in Southern blot analysis and in strand-specific in situ hybridization. ADV infection of seronegative newborn mink kits causes an acute, cytopathic infection of type II alveolar cells. Replication in these cells is highly permissive and is characterized by high levels of replicative intermediates and virion DNA. A fatal respiratory distress syndrome and hyaline membrane formation result from impaired surfactant production by the infected type II cells. On the other hand, ADV infection of adult mink is associated with a persistent infection and a disorder of the immune regulation. The target cells for viral replication in adult mink are confined to the lymphoid system and the bone marrow. Replication in these cells, which are probably lymphocytes, is restricted, and characterized by greatly reduced levels of replicative intermediates and virion DNA. It, therefore, seems that disease in the infected adult mink results from a restricted infection by ADV. Large amounts of virion DNA can also be demonstrated in locations where replication cannot be detected and apparently represents sequestration of virion particles by elements of the reticuloendothelial system. Thus, replication and sequestration can, in fact, be distinguished by the strand-specific in situ hybridization. These studies indicate that strand-specific in situ hybridization is a potentially valuable method for studying the pathogenesis of parvovirus infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Aleutian mink disease parvovirus
  • In situ hybridization
  • Parvovirus infection
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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