Assessment of Virally Vectored Autoimmunity as a Biocontrol Strategy for Cane Toads
The large double-stranded DNA (ds DNA) viruses were among the first to be used to construct recombinant viruses, but to date this has not been achieved with any members of the ds DNA virus family, Iridoviridae. We identified a non-essential gene, the viral homologue of eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF-2alpha), in Bohle iridovirus (BIV, genus Ranavirus). A recombinant BIV was constructed with the neomycin resistance gene and the Bufo marinus (cane toad) adult globin gene inserted into the BIV eIF-2alpha region. Adult globin expressed by the virus was detected on western blot, demonstrating that foreign genes can be expressed by the recombinant BIV in vitro and suggesting the possibility of using a recombinant BIV in the biological control of cane toads.