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Virology. 2011 Nov 25;420(2):82-8. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.08.021. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Selection of rhinovirus 1A variants adapted for growth in mouse lung epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98114, USA.


Rhinoviruses (RVs) are picornaviruses that are causative agents of the majority of upper respiratory tract infections, or "common colds," in humans. RVs infect both the upper and lower respiratory tract, and in addition to the common cold may also cause pneumonia, complications in patients with chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, and asthma exacerbations. Convenient animal models are not available to study the pathogenesis of rhinovirus-induced illness. Rhinovirus RV1A replicates poorly in mouse cells; variants with improved replication were selected by serial passage through mouse embryonic fibroblasts and mouse lung epithelial cells. Adaptation for improved growth in mouse cells was mediated by amino acid changes in the RV1a non-structural protein 3A. Mouse cell-adapted RV1A was capable of productively infecting mice in which the airway was subjected to chemical permeabilization. A mouse model for RV infection will permit studies of RV pathogenesis and may identify targets for therapeutic intervention.

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