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J Virol Methods. 1997 Jan;63(1-2):103-12.

Quantification of replication of clinical cytomegalovirus isolates in cultured endothelial cells and fibroblasts by a focus expansion assay.

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Abt. für Med. Virologie, Hygiene-Institut, Universität Tübingen, Germany.


A method for quantitative analysis of the growth properties of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in various cell culture systems was developed. Recent HCMV isolates are, in most cases cell associated, causing only limited cytopathic effect. This renders comparative analysis of the biological properties of such isolates difficult. The focus expansion assay described in this study is based on cocultivation of infected fibroblasts with a cell type of choice, relying on cell mediated infectivity. The extent of replication of a given isolate in cell culture is quantified by determining the size of resulting infectious foci. Analysis of various clinical isolates and laboratory strains indicated that this assay is a reliable and valid method to define growth properties of HCMV in cell culture. Remarkable differences in the cytopathogenicity of these isolates in fibroblasts as well as in endothelial cells were found. The assay will be useful in studies regarding cell tropism and virulence of recent HCMV isolates and for the quick and easy phenotypic characterization of HCMV deletion mutants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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