Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The roles of vaccinia virus (VV) intracellular mature virus (IMV), intracellular enveloped virus (IEV), cell-associated enveloped virus (CEV) and extracellular enveloped virus (EEV) and their associated proteins in virus spread were investigated. The plaques made by VV mutants lacking individual IEV- or EEV-specific proteins (vΔA33R, vΔA34R, vΔA36R, vΔA56R, vΔB5R, vΔF12L and vΔF13L) were compared in the presence of IMV- or EEV-neutralizing antibodies (Ab). Data presented show that for long-range spread, the comet-shaped plaques of VV were caused by the unidirectional spread of EEV probably by convection currents, and for cell-to-cell spread, VV uses a combination of Ab-resistant and Ab-sensitive pathways. Actin tails play a major role in the Ab-resistant pathway, but mutants such as vΔA34R and vΔA36R that do not make actin tails still spread from cell to cell in the presence of Ab. Most strikingly, the Ab-resistant pathway was abolished when the A33R gene was deleted. This effect was not due to alterations in the efficiency of neutralization of EEV made by this mutant, nor due to a deficiency in IMV wrapping to form IEV, which was indispensable for EEV formation by vΔA33R and vΔA34R. We suggest a role for A33R in promoting Ab-resistant cell-to-cell spread of virus. The roles of the different virus forms in the VV life-cycle are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of General Virology


Microbiology Society

Publication Date





209 - 222