Cell entry of the aphthovirus equine rhinitis A virus is dependent on endosome acidification

Equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) is genetically closely related to foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), and both are now classified within the genus Aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. For disease security reasons, FMDV can be handled only in high-containment facilities, but these constraints do not apply to ERAV, making it an attractive alternative for the study of aphthovirus biology. Here, we show, using immunofluorescence, pharmacological agents, and dominant negative inhibitors, that ERAV entry occurs (as for FMDV) via clathrin-mediated endocytosis and acidification of early endosomes. This validates the use of ERAV as a model system to study the mechanism of cell entry by FMDV.

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