Appearances are deceptive: Three RNA viruses co-infected with the nucleopolyhedrovirus in host Lymantria dispar

Sergey V. Pavlushin, Yury Yu Ilinsky, Irina A. Belousova, Sergey I. Bayborodin, Evgenii A. Lunev, Andrey A. Kechin, Evgeniy A. Khrapov, Maksim L. Filipenko, Stepan V. Toshchakov, Vyacheslav V. Martemyanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The virus infection, which visually looks like typical monoinfection, in fact may hide a great complex of different species. Without detailed analysis, we may miss the important interaction between pathogens, including new species. In the current study, we found the new species inside the mix of cubic and polyhedral occlusion bodies (OBs) isolated from the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L. (Ld). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that into the one cadaver were OBs which belonged to baculovirus and cypoviruses. The baculovirus produced polyhedral OBs, while cypoviruses produced polyhedral and cubic OBs. Genomic analysis detected the multiple Ld nucleopolyhedroviruses, and cypoviruses were Hubei lepidoptera virus 3 and Dendrolimus punctatus cypovirus 1. This represents the first isolation of the Hubei lepidoptera virus 3 from the gypsy moth, proposed as “Lymantria dispar cypovirus 3”. The RNAseq analysis also revealed the presence of Lymantria dispar iflavirus 1. The insecticidal activity of the mixed infection was comparable to that of typical baculovirus monoinfection. Thus, we demonstrate that i) the shape of OBs identified by light microscopy cannot be a robust indicator of viral species infecting the host; ii) only specific analysis may reveal the true composition of viral infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198371
JournalVirus Research
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Baculovirus
  • Genome sequence
  • Hubei lepidoptera virus 3
  • Iflaviridae
  • Mix infection
  • Reoviridae


  • 1.06.ZE VIROLOGY


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