Spherules and IBV
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is an economically important virus infecting chickens, causing large losses to the poultry industry globally. While vaccines are available, there is a requirement for novel vaccine strategies due to high strain variation and poor cross-protection. This requires a more detailed understanding of virus-host cell interactions to identify candidates for targeted virus attenuation. One key area of research in the positive sense RNA virus field, due to its central role in virus replication, is the induction of cellular membrane rearrangements by this class of viruses for the assembly of virus replication complexes. In our recent work, we identified the structures induced by IBV during infection of cultured cells, as well as primary cells and ex vivo organ culture. We identified structures novel to the coronavirus family, which strongly resemble replication sites of other positive sense RNA viruses. We have begun to extend this work using recombinant IBVs which are chimera of different virus strains to study the role of viral proteins in the induction of membrane rearrangements.