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J Virol. 1989 Jun; 63(6): 2492–2496.
PMCID: PMC250709

Change in host cell tropism associated with in vitro replication of equine infectious anemia virus.


Similar to other human and animal lentiviruses, equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is detectable in vivo in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. Owing to their short-lived nature, horse peripheral blood macrophage cultures (HMC) are rarely used for in vitro propagation of EIAV, and equine dermal (ED) or kidney cell cultures, which can be repeatedly passed in vitro, are used in most studies. However, wild-type isolates of EIAV will not grow in these cell types without extensive adaptation, a process which may attenuate viral virulence. To better define the effect of host cell tropism on the virulence and pathogenesis of EIAV, we studied a field isolate of EIAV during in vitro adaptation to growth in an ED cell line. Interestingly, as the virus adapted to growth in ED cells, there was a corresponding decrease in infectivity for HMC, and the final ED-adapted isolate was more than 100-fold more infectious for ED cells than for HMC. In vivo studies indicated that the ED-adapted isolate was able to replicate in experimentally infected horses, although no clinical signs of EIA were observed. Thus, selection for in vitro replication on ED cells correlated with a loss of EIAV tropism for HMC in vitro and was associated with avirulence in vivo.

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Selected References

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