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We have studied the structure and morphogenesis of Dugbe (DUG) virus (Bunyaviridae, Nairovirus) in cultured porcine kidney (PS) cells and a tick cell line (Ra 243) using immunogold electron microscopy. DUG virus is a tickborne arbovirus, considered to be a low health hazard, that is antigenically and genetically related to Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus (Marriott et al., 1990). We have investigated the maturation and intracellular transport of DUG virus particles as a model for other more pathogenic nairoviruses using monoclonal antibodies for immunogold labelling of ultrathin cryosections and immunofluorescence techniques. The spherical DUG virus particle measures about 90 nm in diameter, with a 5 nm thick membrane covered by 5-7 nm long projections or "spikes". These projections form hollow cylindrical morphological units, about 5 nm in diameter. DUG virus infection caused only a slight cytopathogenic effect in mammalian cells and none in tick cells. DUG virus particles assembled by budding from the Golgi complex, where the DUG virus glycoprotein G1 accumulated in vesicles originating from Golgi cisternae. The nucleocapsid protein N accumulated in scattered foci throughout the cytoplasm, and this appears to be related to the limited maturation of DUG virus particles that occurred. The reduced number of budding virus particles observed in tick cells was correlated with the reduced cytopathology observed.


Journal article


Virus Res

Publication Date





199 - 212


Animals, Antigens, Viral, Cell Line, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Microscopy, Electron, Morphogenesis, Nairovirus, Swine