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Brief Report

Marek’s Disease Virus Infection of Natural Killer Cells

Institute of Virology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14163 Berlin, Germany
Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Veterinary Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80539 Munich, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 588;
Received: 16 October 2019 / Revised: 14 November 2019 / Accepted: 16 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herpesviruses: Virus-Host Interaction)
Natural killer (NK) cells are key players in the innate immune response. They kill virus-infected cells and are crucial for the induction of adaptive immune responses. Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is a highly contagious alphaherpesvirus that causes deadly T cell lymphomas in chickens. Host resistance to MDV is associated with differences in NK cell responses; however, the exact role of NK cells in the control of MDV remains unknown. In this study, we assessed if MDV can infect NK cells and alter their activation. Surprisingly, we could demonstrate that primary chicken NK cells are very efficiently infected with very virulent RB-1B MDV and the live-attenuated CVI988 vaccine. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that both RB-1B and CVI988 enhance NK cell degranulation and increase interferon gamma (IFNγ) production in vitro. In addition, we could show that the MDV Eco Q-encoded oncogene (meq) contributes to the induction of NK cell activation using meq knockout viruses. Taken together, our data revealed for the first time that NK cells are efficiently infectable with MDV and that this oncogenic alphaherpesvirus enhances NK cell degranulation and increased IFNγ production in vitro. View Full-Text
Keywords: NK cells; chickens; cell tropism; CD107; interferon gamma (IFNγ); RB-1B; CVI988; meq NK cells; chickens; cell tropism; CD107; interferon gamma (IFNγ); RB-1B; CVI988; meq
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bertzbach, L.D.; van Haarlem, D.A.; Härtle, S.; Kaufer, B.B.; Jansen, C.A. Marek’s Disease Virus Infection of Natural Killer Cells. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 588.

AMA Style

Bertzbach LD, van Haarlem DA, Härtle S, Kaufer BB, Jansen CA. Marek’s Disease Virus Infection of Natural Killer Cells. Microorganisms. 2019; 7(12):588.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bertzbach, Luca D., Daphne A. van Haarlem, Sonja Härtle, Benedikt B. Kaufer, and Christine A. Jansen. 2019. "Marek’s Disease Virus Infection of Natural Killer Cells" Microorganisms 7, no. 12: 588.

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