The authors isolated a number of plaque morphology mutants from a strain of herpes simplex virus type I which, unlike the wild type, cause extensive cell fusion during a productive viral infection. After the onset of fusion, there is an exponential decrease in the number of single cells as a function of time after infection. At a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 3.8 plaque forming units per cell, fusion begins 5.3 hr after infection with the number of single cells decreasing to 10% of the original number 10.2 hr after infection. As the MOI is gradually increased from 0.4 to 8, the onset of fusion occurs earlier during infection. However, when the MOI is increased from 8 to 86, the onset of fusion does not occur any earlier. The rate of fusion is independent of the MOI for an MOI greater than 1. The rate of fusion varies linearly with initial cell density up to 3.5 x 104 cells/cm2 and is independent of initial cell density at higher cell concentrations. To assay cell fusion we have developed a simple quantitative assay using a Coulter counter to measure the number of single cells as a function of time after infection. Data obtained using a Coulter counter are similar to those obtained with a microscope assay.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science