Background: Cell-based influenza vaccines can solve the problem of the frequent occurrence of egg adaptation-associated antigenic changes observed in egg-based vaccines. Seed viruses for cell-based vaccines can be prepared from clinical specimens by cell culture; however, clinical samples risk harboring respiratory viruses other than influenza virus. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the patterns of co-infection in clinical samples and explore whether cell culture technology can selectively propagate influenza viruses from samples containing other respiratory viruses.
Methods: A total of 341 clinical specimens were collected from patients with influenza or influenza-like illness and analyzed by ResPlex II assay to detect 18 respiratory viruses. The patterns of co-infection were statistically analyzed with Fisher's exact test. The samples with double or triple infections were passaged in suspension MDCK cells (MDCK-S), adherent MDCK cells (MDCK-A), and LLC-MK2D cells. Cell-passaged samples were analyzed by ResPlex II assay again to investigate whether each cell line could amplify influenza viruses and eliminate other respiratory viruses.
Results: Double infections were detected in 8.5% and triple infections in 0.9% of the collected clinical specimens. We identified four pairs of viruses with significant correlation. For all samples with double and triple infection, MDCK-S and MDCK-A could selectively propagate influenza viruses, while eliminating all contaminating viruses. In contrast, LLC-MK2D showed lower isolation efficiency for influenza virus and higher isolation efficiency for coxsackievirus/echovirus than MDCK-S and MDCK-A.
Conclusions: Both MDCK-S and MDCK-A are considered suitable for the preparation of influenza vaccine seed viruses without adventitious agents or egg-adaptation mutations.
Keywords: Madin-Darby canine kidney cell line; adventitious virus; cell-based vaccine; influenza; vaccine seed virus.
© 2019 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.