Attenuation of virus production at high multiplicities of infection in Aureococcus anophagefferens.

PMID 25104555


Infection dynamics (saturation kinetics, infection efficiency, adsorption and burst size) for the Aureococcus anophagefferens-Brown Tide virus (AaV) system were investigated using susceptible and resistant strains. Adsorption assays revealed that virus affinity to the cell surface is a key determinant of infectivity. Saturation of infection occurred at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 8 viruses per host and resulted in ~90-95% of infected cells, with burst sizes ranging from 164 to 191. Insight from the AaV genome implicates recycling of host nucleotides rather than de novo synthesis as a constraint on viral replication. Viral yields and mean burst sizes were significantly diminished with increasing MOI. This phenomenon, which was reminiscent of phage-induced 'lysis from without', appeared to be caused by viral contact and was unrelated to bacteria, signaling/toxic compounds, or defective interfering viruses. We posit that high-MOI effects attenuate viral proliferation in natural systems providing a negative feedback on virus-induced bloom collapse.