Thursday, October 30, 2014
Densovirus as a Beneficial Virus
So this isn't a human virus, but I think it's cool enough to be relevant. A new study released claims that Densovirus is a mutual symbiont of a moth (Helicoverpa armigera) and protects against baculovirus. This breaks a central dogma of viruses that states all viruses are detrimental to health. This study shows that Densovirus infection is beneficial to this moth. Helicoverpa armigera Densovirus-1 (HaDNV-1) is wide-spread in adult populations of these moths (>67%). The study found a strong negative interaction between HaDNV-1 and nucleopolyhedrovirus. Bioassays also showed that moths infected with HaDNV-1 had increased resistance to nucleopolyhderovirus. The researchers found no negative effect on the moths from HaDNV-1 infection. Another interesting thing is the fact that the virus could be transferred horizontally and vertically.
When I first read this, I thought it was pretty cool because it shows a virus being beneficial to their hosts. However, the moth is actually a global crop pest and nucleopolyhedrovirus is used in biopesticides against the moth. soo..... We need to make sure these moths don't get infected with densovirus.