Isolation and characterization of an antigenically distinct 68-kd protein from nonviral intracytoplasmic inclusions in Boa constrictors chronically infected with the inclusion body disease virus (IBDV: Retroviridae)

E. Wozniak, Jere McBride, D. Denardo, R. Tarara, V. Wong, B. Osburn

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32 Scopus citations


The relationship between a retroviral infection and the development of nonviral intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies was studied in a Boa constrictor model. Twelve juvenile age- and size-matched inclusion body disease (IBD)-negative boas were randomly divided into three groups. Each group was inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 ml of an IBD virus (IBDV)-infected liver homogenate or 1 ml of normal boa liver homogenate (sham-inoculated control) or was left untreated. All boas were monitored for development of IBD by daily examination and serial liver biopsy over 1 year. The 4 IBDV-inoculated boas became IBDV and inclusion positive by 10 weeks postinoculation. The average size and density of inclusion bodies increased with the duration of infection. Ultrastructurally, inclusion bodies <2 μm in diameter consisted of intracytoplasmic aggregates of granular electron-dense material that were not membrane limited. Larger inclusions (3-6 μm in diameter) were characterized as membrane-bound aggregates of amorphous to granular electron-dense material admixed with membranelike fragments. The sham-inoculated and untreated control snakes did not become inclusion or IBDV positive. Direct comparison of the protein electrophoretograms of IBDV-infected and normal boa tissues demonstrated a prominent 68-kd protein band unique to infected inclusion-positive tissues. Monoclonal antibodies directed against the 68-kd protein band specifically labeled inclusion bodies. The results of this study demonstrate that IBD inclusions represent an intracytoplasmic accumulation of an antigenically distinct IBDV-associated protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-459
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Boa constrictor
  • Hyaline inclusions
  • Inclusion body disease
  • Retroviridae
  • Retrovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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