Scientists need to be able to grow Zika virus to understand the pathogenesis and develop new vaccines and diagnostic tests to combat its spread and impact. To support this vital work, Public Health England’s European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC) provides the Vero cell line suitable for culturing Zika virus. This cell line is used by our virologists at PHE’s National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) to generate authenticated stocks of Zika virus for supply.
Derived from the kidney of an African Green monkey in the 1960s, Vero cells are susceptible to a wide range of viruses including measles, mumps, rubella, and many arthropod-borne viruses. Vero cells are commonly used in virology laboratories to culture virus strains.
Dr Karen Buttigieg, scientific and operational lead at NCPV said, “The Zika virus grows well in Vero cells. We find that within two days of inoculating the cells there is sufficient cytopathic effect to harvest and freeze stocks of the Zika virus. We always quality control NCPV virus stocks before releasing for supply.”
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