Almost all those who have studied varicella virus have used monolayer (or expiant) tissue cultures. Weller and Stoddard (1952), however, first demonstrated cytopathic changes (intranuclear inclusions) in suspended tissue fragments of human embryos of 2–3 months gestation and noted that the virus could not be subcultured by transfer of fluid from such infected cultures. Later, Weller (1953) showed that the virus could be propagated serially in human fibroblast cultures only if intact, infected cells were subcultured to fresh tissue cultures. In an extensive study, Weller et al. (1958) reported the isolation of varicella virus in tissue cultures of human embryo skin-muscle, human fore-skin and adult human uterus and testis. They subcultured virus in these tissues and also in human embryo brain, human post-natal kidney, human amnion, HeLa cells, and in rhesus monkey kidney and testis cultures. They had also some evidence for transfer of infection to rabbit testis and kidney cell cultures but the infection was rapidly lost on serial transfer in these tissue cells. Their attempts to grow virus in chick tissues, murine and bovine embryo tissues and porcine kidney cells were not successful. Subsequent work has confirmed that isolation and serial cultivation of varicella virus can be achieved only in tissues of human or primate origin and that in most cases virus remains cell-associated.
KeywordsHuman Embryo Intranuclear Inclusion Human Amnion African Green Monkey Kidney Cell Varicella Virus
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