Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Veterinary Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Clayton L. Kelling. Lincoln, Nebraska: June, 2010
Copyright 2010 Abdulrahman Abdulaziz A. Alkheraif


Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a member of the genus Pestivirus, Family Flaviviridae. The virus can infect many species of animals of the order Artiodactyla. The BVDV genome encodes an auto protease, Npro, that degrades interferon regulatory factor-3 (IRF-3) reducing type I interferon (IFN-I) production from host cells. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is a member of the genus Pneumovirus, Family Paramyxoviridae. Concurrent infection with BVDV and BRSV causes more severe respiratory and enteric disease than infection with either virus alone. Our hypothesis was that Npro modulates the innate immune responses to BVDV infection and enhances replication of BVDV or BRSV co-infection. The noncytopathic BVDV2 viruses NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP (a mutant with modified Npro fused with enhanced green fluorescent protein), NY93 infectious clone (NY93/c), wild-type NY93-BVDV2 (NY93-wt), and BRSV were evaluated in this study. The objectives of this study were: (1) to characterize the replication kinetics and IFN-I induction in Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells following infection with each of the BVDV isolates, and (2) to characterize the influence of BVDV-mediated IFN-I antagonism on enhancement of BRSV replication in bovine turbinate (BT) cells. NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP replicated 0.4 – 1.6 TCID50 logs lower than NY93-wt in MDBK cells. NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP-infected MDBK cells synthesized IFN-I significantly higher than NY93/c- and NY93-wt-infected MDBK cells. BT cells co-infected with NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP/BRSV or NY93-wt/BRSV were evaluated to determine the effects of co-infection on BRSV replication and IFN-I induction in BT cells. BRSV RNA levels in NY93-wt/BRSV co-infected BT cells were 2.49, 2.79, and 2.89 copy number logs significantly greater than in NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP/BRSV co-infected BT cells on days 5, 7, and 9 post-infection, respectively. BVDV RNA levels in NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP-infected BT cells were 1.64 – 4.38 copy number logs lower than in NY93-wt-infected BT cells. NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP single and co-infected BT cells synthesized IFN-I significantly higher than NY93-wt single and co-infected BT cells. In summary, these findings suggest: (1) NY93/c N- Npro 18 EGFP BVDV2 induced higher levels of IFN-I than BVDV2-wt and may be useful as a safer, replicating BVDV vaccine, and (2) Enhancement of BRSV infection by BVDV co-infection is mediated by antagonism of IFN-I.