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Open Access Development of a Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter Cell Line to Reduce Biohazards Associated with Detection of Infectious Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (Monkey B Virus) in Clinical Specimens

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Detection of infectious viruses in clinical samples typically relies on daily examination of inoculated cell cultures for appearance of virus-induced cytopathic effect (CPE), with subsequent immunologic or genetic analysis to identify the specific virus producing the CPE. Performing virus isolation on samples suspected of containing Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (monkey B virus [BV]) is dangerous due to the extreme neuropathogenicity of this virus in humans, and minimally requires biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facilities. To provide a safer method of detecting infectious BV in clinical samples, the eucaryotic green fluorescent protein (GFP) coding sequence was flanked with BV sequences containing transcriptional control elements. This construct was placed into a stealth vector and transfected into Vero cells, then stable transformed cell lines were selected. These cells express GFP only when infected with BV or other related primate herpesviruses. Expression of GFP allows detection of infectious BV in cultures sooner and more reliably than does standard microscopic observation for CPE. The ability to detect BV by GFP expression eliminates the need for further testing to identify the virus as an α-herpesvirus following development of CPE, thus allowing cell cultures to be sealed at inoculation. Although not entirely specific for BV, this cell line will make detection of infectious BV in samples collected from macaques safer to perform.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma 74078-2007

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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