SARS-associated coronavirus replication in cell lines

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Jan;12(1):128-33. doi: 10.3201/eid1201.050496.


Given the potential for laboratory-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infections, we must know which cell lines are susceptible to the virus. We investigated 21 cell lines routinely used for virus isolation or research. After infection with SARS-CoV, cells were observed for cytopathic effects, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to measure ongoing viral replication. An indirect immunofluorescence assay was also used as a confirmatory test. The study identified 10 new cell lines capable of supporting the replication of SARS-CoV and confirmed the susceptibility of 4 cell lines previously reported. This study shows that SARS-CoV can be isolated in several cell lines commonly used for diagnostic or research purposes. It also shows that SARS-CoV can achieve high titers in several cell lines, sometimes in the absence of specific cytopathic effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Dogs
  • Haplorhini / virology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Virus Replication / physiology*