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Cytotechnology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 91–116 | Cite as

Virus contaminations of cell cultures – A biotechnological view

  • O.-W. Merten
Article

Abstract

In contrast to contamination by microbes and mycoplasma, which can be relatively easily detected, viral contamination present a serious threat because of the difficulty in detecting some viruses and the lack of effective methods of treating infected cell cultures. While some viruses are capable of causing morphological changes to infected cells (e.g. cytopathic effect)which are detectable by microscopy some viral contaminations result in the integration of the viral genome as provirus, this causes no visual evidence, by means of modification of the cellular morphology. Virus production from such cell lines, are potentially dangerous for other cell cultures (in research labs)by cross contaminations, or for operators and patients (in the case of the production of injectable biologicals) because of potential infection. The only way to keep cell cultures for research, development, and the biotech industry virus-free is the prevention of such contaminations. Cell cultures can become contaminated by the following means: firstly, they may already be contaminated as primary cultures (because the source of the cells was already infected), secondly, they were contaminated due to the use of contaminated raw materials, or thirdly, they were contaminated via an animal passage. This overview describes the problems and risks associated with viral contaminations in animal cell culture, describes the origins of these contaminations as well as the most important virsuses associated with viral contaminations in cell culture. In addition, ways to prevent viral contaminations as well as measures undertaken to avoid and assess risks for viral contaminations as performed in the biotech industry are briefly described.

animal cell culture CHO continuous cell lines hybridoma prevention primary cells raw materials risks viral contaminants 

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • O.-W. Merten
    • 1
  1. 1.Généthon IIIEvry-CedexFrance

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