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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells provide an alternative host cell system for influenza A and B viruses.

The preparation of live, attenuated human influenza virus vaccines and of large quantities of inactivated vaccines after the emergence or reemergence of a pandemic influenza virus will require an alternative host cell system, because embryonated chicken eggs will likely be insufficient and suboptimal. Preliminary studies indicated that an African green monkey kidney cell line (Vero) is a suitable system for the primary isolation and cultivation of influenza A viruses (E. A. Govorkova, N. V. Kaverin, L. V. Gubareva, B. Meignier, and R. G. Webster, J. Infect. Dis. 172:250-253, 1995). We now demonstrate for the first time that Vero cells are suitable for isolation and productive replication of influenza B viruses and determine the biological and genetic properties of both influenza A and B viruses in Vero cells; additionally, we characterize the receptors on Vero cells compared with those on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Sequence analysis indicated that the hemagglutinin of Vero cell-derived influenza B viruses was identical to that of MDCK-grown counterparts but differed from that of egg-grown viruses at amino acid positions 196 to 198. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed that although Vero cells possess predominantly alpha2,3 galactose-linked sialic acid, they are fully susceptible to infection with either human influenza A or B viruses. Moreover, all virus-specific polypeptides were synthesized in the same proportions in Vero cells as in MDCK cells. Electron microscopic and immunofluorescence studies confirmed that infected Vero cells undergo the same morphological changes as do other polarized epithelia] cells. Taken together, these results indicate that Vero cell lines could serve as an alternative host system for the cultivation of influenza A and B viruses, providing adequate quantities of either virus to meet the vaccine requirements imposed by an emerging pandemic.[1]


  1. African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells provide an alternative host cell system for influenza A and B viruses. Govorkova, E.A., Murti, G., Meignier, B., de Taisne, C., Webster, R.G. J. Virol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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