Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26110714
Link to DOI – 10.1038/nprot.2015.071
Nat Protoc 2015 Jul; 10(7): 1084-97
Host defense to virus infection involves both resistance mechanisms that reduce viral burden and tolerance mechanisms that limit detrimental effects of infection. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has emerged as a model for identifying and characterizing the genetic basis of resistance and tolerance. This protocol describes how to analyze host responses to virus infection in Drosophila, and it covers the preparation of virus stocks, experimental inoculation of flies and assessment of host survival and virus production, which are indicative of resistance or tolerance. It also provides guidance on how to account for recently identified confounding factors, including natural genetic variation in the pastrel locus and contamination of fly stocks with persistent viruses and the symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia. Our protocol aims to be accessible to newcomers to the field and, although optimized for virus research using Drosophila, some of the techniques could be adapted to other host organisms and/or other microbial pathogens. Preparation of fly stocks requires ∼1 month, virus stock preparation requires 17-20 d, virus injection and survival assays require 10-15 d and virus titration requires 14 d.