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J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar 15;185(6):734-43. Epub 2002 Feb 19.

Similar frequency of rhinovirus-infectible cells in upper and lower airway epithelium.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.


Rhinovirus (RV) infections can alter lower airway physiology and inflammation, yet the characteristics of RV replication in lower airway cells are incompletely understood. An RV serotype 16 (RV16)-specific monoclonal antibody was identified. Immunohistochemistry and an infectious center assay were used to quantitate the infectivity of RV16 in primary bronchial and adenoidal epithelial cells. The proportion of infectible epithelial cells increased with the inoculum but did not exceed 10%. Analysis of bronchial tissue samples infected ex vivo demonstrated a small subset of RV-infected cells in the epithelial layer. These data confirm previous reports that RV infects only a small subset of epithelial cells in upper airway tissues and indicate that lower airway epithelial cells have a similar susceptibility to RV infection. In confirming that RV can infect cells in the lower airway, these results suggest that lower airway dysfunction occurs through this mechanism in susceptible persons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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