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J Virol Methods. 2011 May;173(2):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2011.02.013. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Real-time monitoring of flavivirus induced cytopathogenesis using cell electric impedance technology.

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Center for Vectorborne Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Old Davis Rd., Davis, CA 95616, United States of America.


A real-time cell analysis (RTCA) system based on cell-substrate electric impedance technology was used to monitor cytopathic effects (CPE) in Vero cell cultures infected with West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) at infectious doses ranging from 10(1) to 10(6) plaque forming units (PFU) of virus. A kinetic parameter characterizing virus-induced CPE, CIT(50) or the time to 50% decrease in cell impedance, was inversely proportional to virus infectious dose. In WNV-infected cells, the onset and rate of CPE was earlier and faster than in SLEV-infected cells, which was consistent with viral cytolytic activity. A mathematical model simulating impedance-based CPE kinetic curves indicated that the replication rate of WNV was about 3 times faster than SLEV. The RTCA system also was used for quantifying the level of cell protection by specific neutralizing antibodies against WNV and SLEV. The onset of WNV or SLEV-induced CPE was delayed in the presence of specific anti-sera, and this delay in the CIT(50) was well correlated with the titer of the neutralizing antibody as measured independently by plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT). The RTCA system provided a high throughput and quantitative method for real-time monitoring viral growth in cell culture and its inhibition by neutralizing antibodies.

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