Vesicular Stomatitis Virus


Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is the prototype rhabdovirus. It is an important animal pathogen that causes a disease, which is difficult to differentiate clinically from that caused by foot‐and‐mouth disease virus. Its broad host range, rapid lytic growth cycle, unique morphology and susceptibility to interferon have all contributed to its popularity as a model system in experimental virology. VSV has been employed frequently for the rapid assay of other more fastidious viruses or for detection of noncytopathogenic viruses exploiting the phenomenon of pseudotype formation. Coinfection of the rapidly cytolytic VSV and a noncytolytic enveloped virus, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), generates an appreciable frequency of pseudotype particles in which infectious VSV nucleocapsids are enveloped by the envelope proteins of HIV. The yield of cytolytic virus after exposure to high‐titre anti‐VSV serum can detect and quantitate the presence of noncytolytic (e.g. HIV) virus.

Keywords: rhabdovirus; vesiculovirus; monopartite negative‐sense RNA viruses; DI particles; pseudotypes; reverse genetics

Figure 1.

Negatively stained electron micrograph of virions of Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus. The striated structure of the nucleocapsid is visible in stain‐penetrated particles, and lengths of released unwound ribonucleoprotein are also visible. The original resolution of this image is×200000; it is reproduced here at×150000. Courtesy of J. Aitken, MRC Virology Unit, Glasgow.

Figure 2.

The 11161‐nucleotide genome of Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus. The genome is represented 3′–5′ from left to right with the five genes represented approximately to scale. The numbers above the genome are the lengths in nucleotides of the individual genes, and the letters below and between the genes identify the intergenic nucleotides. The polarized decreasing abundance of the mRNA transcripts is represented diagrammatically below the genome, and the nucleocapsid‐associated replicative forms above the genome. Le, leader; nuc, nucleotides; RNP, ribonucleoprotein; Tr, trailer.



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Further Reading

Banerjee AK (1987) Transcription and replication of rhabdoviruses. Microbiological Reviews 51: 66–87.

Conzelmann KK (1996) Genetic manipulation of non‐segmented negative‐sense RNA viruses. Journal of General Virology 77: 381–389.

Tordo N, Benmansour A, Calisher CH et al. (2005) Rhabdoviridae. In: Fauquet CM, Mayo MA, Maniloff J et al. (eds) Virus Taxonomy. Eighth Report of the International Committeee on Virus Taxonomy., pp. 623–644. London: Elsevier Academic Press

Tordo N, Charlton K and Wandeler A (1998) Rhabdoviruses: rabies. In: Mahy BWJ and Collier L (eds) Topley and Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, 9th ed. vol. 1: Virology, pp. 665–692. London: Edward Arnold

Wagner RR (ed.) (1987) The Rhabdoviruses. New York: Plenum Press.

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Pringle, Craig R(Apr 2006) Vesicular Stomatitis Virus. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0004307]