BACKGROUND:Viruses included in the family Iridoviridae are large, icosahedral, dsDNA viruses that are subdivided into 5 genera. Frog virus 3 (FV3) is the type species of the genus Ranavirus and the best studied iridovirus at the molecular level. Typically, antibodies directed against a virus act to neutralize the virus and limit infection. Antibody dependent enhancement occurs when viral antibodies enhance infectivity of the virus rather than neutralize it.RESULTS:Here we show that anti-FV3 serum present at the time of FV3 infection enhances infectivity of the virus in two non-immune teleost cell lines. We found that antibody dependent enhancement of FV3 was dependent on the Fc portion of anti-FV3 antibodies but not related to complement. Furthermore, the presence of anti-FV3 serum during an FV3 infection in a non-immune mammalian cell line resulted in neutralization of the virus. Our results suggest that a cell surface receptor specific to teleost cell lines is responsible for the enhancement.CONCLUSIONS:This report represents the first evidence of antibody dependent enhancement in iridoviruses. The data suggests that anti-FV3 serum can either neutralize or enhance viral infection and that enhancement is related to a novel antibody dependent enhancement pathway found in teleosts that is Fc dependent.