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Virology. 2010 Oct 10;406(1):1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

Norwalk virus does not replicate in human macrophages or dendritic cells derived from the peripheral blood of susceptible humans.

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Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Human noroviruses are difficult to study due to the lack of an efficient in vitro cell culture system or small animal model. Murine norovirus replicates in murine macrophages (MPhi) and dendritic cells (DCs), raising the possibility that human NoVs might replicate in such human cell types. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated DCs and MPhi derived from monocyte subsets and CD11c(+) DCs isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of individuals susceptible to Norwalk virus (NV) infection. These cells were exposed to NV and replication was evaluated by immunofluorescence and by quantitative RT-PCR. A few PBMC-derived DCs expressed NV proteins. However, NV RNA did not increase in any of the cells tested. These results demonstrate that NV does not replicate in human CD11c(+) DCs, monocyte-derived DCs and MPhi, but abortive infection may occur in a few DCs. These results suggest that NV tropism is distinct from that of murine noroviruses.

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