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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)