Bacteria facilitate viral co-infection of mammalian cells and promote genetic recombination

A. K. Erickson, P. R. Jesudhasan, M. J. Mayer, A. Narbad, S. E. Winter, J. K. Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intestinal bacteria promote infection of several mammalian enteric viruses, but the mechanisms and consequences are unclear. We screened a panel of 41 bacterial strains as a platform to determine how different bacteria impact enteric viruses. We found that most bacterial strains bound poliovirus, a model enteric virus. Given that each bacterium bound multiple virions, we hypothesized that bacteria may deliver multiple viral genomes to a mammalian cell even when very few virions are present, such as during the first replication cycle after inter-host transmission. We found that exposure to certain bacterial strains increased viral co-infection even when the ratio of virus to host cells was low. Bacteria-mediated viral co-infection correlated with bacterial adherence to cells. Importantly, bacterial strains that induced viral co-infection facilitated viral fitness restoration through genetic recombination. Thus, bacteria-virus interactions may increase viral fitness through viral recombination at initial sites of infection, potentially limiting abortive infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 22 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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