Université de Montréal,
Département de microbiologie, infectiologie et immunologie,
Université de Montréal
CP 6128, Succ. Centre-villeMontréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
Although mammalian reovirus exhibits only limited pathogenicity in humans, it has been, and still remains, instrumental in studies of viral replication and pathogenesis. Generally considered as cytolytic, this virus can sometimes establish long-term persistent infections in tissue culture. In fact, in this context, it constitutes one widely used model to demonstrate coevolution between virus and host cells. Initially limited to the murine L929 fibroblasts model, further studies in different cell types appeared in the last few years. Establishment of viral persistence could also become a preferred approach to isolate new viruses that are better adapted to their applications in virotherapy, for example as oncolytic agents against human or animal cancers. A better understanding of the persistence phenomenon, especially of viral genes involved, is thus essential. The development of new tools, such as reverse genetics, appears very promising to achieve these objectives. Actually, this last approach allows us to establish the biological significance of mutations found on viruses selected during viral persistence.