Efficient culture of Chlamydia pneumoniae with cell lines derived from the human respiratory tract

J Clin Microbiol. 1992 Jul;30(7):1625-30. doi: 10.1128/jcm.30.7.1625-1630.1992.


Two established cell lines, H 292 and HEp-2, originating from the human respiratory tract, were found to be significantly more efficient and practical than the currently used HeLa 229 cells for growth of Chlamydia pneumoniae. Six strains of C. pneumoniae recently isolated from patients with respiratory ailments were used as test cultures. The H 292 and HEp-2 cells yielded much higher inclusion counts for all the test strains than did HeLa 229 cells. When they were compared with each other, H 292 cells yielded more inclusions than did HEp-2 cells, and the differences were statistically significant in 10 of 18 test sets. A simple system with these two cell lines appeared to be very efficient for culturing C. pneumoniae. It does not require treatment of tissue cells with DEAE-dextran before infection, and it may eliminate the need for serial subpassages of specimens to increase culture sensitivity. Monolayers of these cells remained intact and viable in the Chlamydia growth medium so that reinfection could take place, resulting in greatly increased inclusion counts for specimens containing few infectious units. This system may make it more practical for laboratories to culture for C. pneumoniae for treatment of infections and outbreak intervention and will facilitate studies on this recently recognized pathogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Line / microbiology*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / growth & development*
  • DEAE-Dextran / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Respiratory System / microbiology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DEAE-Dextran