Main Article Content
Accumulated evidences gathered over recent decades demonstrated that Baculoviruses (Occlusion body forming nucleopolyhedroviruses and the host specific granuloviruses) have proven Biocontrol activities on insect and pests of agricultural importance while being non-pathogenic to humans. These studies have laid the foundations for the launch of several trials phases using Baculoviruses on specific insect pests for their efficacy as viral Biocontrol agents. After a brief overview of the biology of Baculoviruses, this review focuses on the studies which unraveled the Biocontrol properties of these agents and supported their use as biopesticides of insect pests resistant to chemical pesticides. Furthermore, this review emphasizes the development of more complex Baculovirus treatment strategies aimed at enhancing formation of occlusion bodies, accelerated virus replication of infective budded forms in insect hosts and improvement of direct lethal effects in several insect developmental forms as necessary tools for increased efficacy in viral Biocontrol of insect pests of agricultural importance. However, the review also addressed the key challenges that remain towards a more efficient use of Baculoviruses as biopesticides, and discuss how a better understanding of the virus life-cycle of and the cellular factors involved in virus infection, replication and cytotoxicity may promote further development of integrated pest management involving viral biopesticides and chemical insecticides to open up new prospects for treatment of plant diseases of economic importance.