Of infections of the nervous

Дата канвертавання27.04.2016
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Dr.V.Ravi, Dr.Anita Desai and Dr.S.N.Madhusudana

Department of Neurovirology


  • Cell cultures

  • Virus growth and titration

  • Methods for viral antigen detection

  • Methods for viral antibody detection

Subculture of a cell line

  1. Aedes albopictus C6/36 ( mosquito gut epithelium ) cell line

  2. Discard supernatant fluid from a confluent monolayer of C6/36 (Aedes albopictus ) bottle cultures.

  3. Add 3 to 5 ml trypsin (Pre-warmed at 37 C ) to each culture bottle.

  4. Leave the bottle at room temperature for 3-5 mins.

  5. Discard the trypsin.

  6. Add 5ml of growth medium to the bottle and gently detach the cells from the surface with the help of a pipette.

  7. Add the required amount of medium (split ratio for this cell line is 1: 5) and distribute the diluted cell suspension to fresh flasks/bottles.

  8. Incubate at room temperature for 3-7 days.

Primary cell culture technique
Chick embryo fibroblastic culture :
The development of routine cell culture methods has reduced the importance of eggs but they are still valuable for the isolation of many important viruses and for the production of vaccines. Fertile eggs must be obtained ideally from a specific pathogen free flock, should be clean, preferably unwashed and pale shelled to simplify candling. After laying they have to be incubated for 10 days at 37 C With 40-70% humidity and good aeration and turned twice daily. After 6 days they are candled, infertile and dead eggs are discarded. On the day of culture those with satisfactory development of chorioallantioic blood vessels and showing embryonic movement are marked with pencil to indicate the limits of the air sac.
Materials required

  1. Embryonated eggs preferably 10-12 days old.

  2. Phosphate buffer saline (pH 7.2) .

  3. 0.25% trypsin in PBS.

  4. Growth medium (MEM, supplemented with 10% bovine serum)

  5. Forceps, scissors, egg cup, petri dishes, filtration unit, silicone/teflon

  6. Coated magnet, solution bottles and culture flasks.


  1. Candle and select 10-11 day old eggs.

  2. Place the egg in an egg cup, air sac upwards and wipe clean with spirit.

  3. Break the shell with the sharp end of a sterile forceps, and lift the membrane. With a bent forceps pick up the embryo and place it in a petri dish containing PBS.

  4. Dissect the embryo in the dish, remove and discard the head, limbs and viscera. Pick up the fibroblastic tissue and transfer into a wide neck bottle containing PBS.

  5. Mince the tissue finely with scissors, and wash minced tissue several times in PBS to remove blood cells and debris.

  6. Transfer tissue to transfusion bottle containing sterile silicone covered magnet and 50ml of 0.25 % trypsin solution and stopper securely.

  7. Trypsinize on magnetic stirrer unit 37 C for 30 mins : avoid frothing of contents.

  8. The tissue will disintegrate, forming a turbid suspension of cells. Filter the suspension through sterile gauze and centrifuge filtrate for 10min at 1000 rev/min.

  9. Discard supernatant and resuspend cells in 100 ml growth medium.

  10. Centrifuge once again and resuspend the cells in fresh medium.

  11. Dilute 0.9ml suspension with 0.1ml trypan blue solution and count cells in haemocytometer.

  12. Adjust concentration to 1 10 cells / ml growth medium and dispense into tubes or bottles.

  13. Incubate at 37 C until monolayer is formed (2-3 days).

  14. When cells have formed a monolayer, remove growth medium, inoculate virus, add maintenance medium (MEM, Eagles base with 1-2% bovine serum) and incubate.

Media preparation for cell culture
Dehydrated Tissue Culture Media

  1. Take 900ml of triple distilled water.

  2. Add the contents of one unit vial of dehydrated media to the water at room temperature with stirring until dissolved.

  3. Rinse the vial with a small amount of triple distilled water to remove traces of powder and add to the above solution.

  4. Add 2.2 grams of sodium bicarbonate or HEPES Buffer.

  5. Adjust the pH if required between 7.1 to 7.4 using 1N HC1 or 1N NaOH or by bubbling carbon dioxide. Note that pH tends to rise during filtration and hence adjust it 0.2 to 0.3 units below the final desired pH.

  6. Make up final volume to 1000ml with triple distilled water.

Sterilization of tissue culture Media

  1. Sterilize the media by filtering through sterile membrane filter(sterilized by autoclaving at 15 lbs for 15 min & 121 C ) of 0.22 micron or less porosity using positive pressure to minimise loss of carbon dioxide.


  1. The following antibiotics can be aseptically added to litre of media :

  2. Amphotericin 2.5 mg

  3. Gentamycin (50mg/ml. Solution) 1.0 ml

  4. Benzyl Penicillin 10000 units

  5. Streptomycin 100 mg

Sterility check

Add 0.5 - 1.0 ml of filtered media to a tube containing sterile thioglycolate broth and incubate at 37 C for 48 hours. If the broth is clear after 48 hours the media is sterile.

TVG (Trypsin Versene Glucose)

  1. TVG consists of the following components in 1X PBS:

  2. Trypsin 0.1%

  3. Versene 0.2%

  4. Glucose 0.05%

Stock solutions for TVG
1). 10x PBS

NaCl 80.00 gms

KCl 2.00 gms

Na2H P04 14.42 gms

KH2 PO4 2.00 gms

Dist.H2O upto 1 litre

To prepare 1X PBS - add 100 ml of 1X PBS to 900 ml of D/W.

  1. 2% TRYPSIN

Trypsin 2.00 gms

D/W upto 100ml

Stir the above solution on a magnetic stirrer for 4h or O/N at 4C. Sterilize by

filtering through sterile membrane filter of 0.22u pore size. A sterility check can be

done before using the solution.
3) 0.2 % VERSENE

EDTA 200 mg

D/W 100 ml

Sterilize by autoclaving at 15 lbs & 121C for 15 minutes.

  1. 10 % GLUCOSE

Glucose 10.00 gms

D/W upto 100 ml

Sterilize by autoclaving at 15 lbs & 121 C for 15 minutes.

  1. 1 % PHENOL RED

Phenol Red 1.00 gm

D/W upto 100ml

Preparation of working solution of TVG
Prepare 840ml of 1X PBS and to this add 1.0 ml of 1% phenol red (indicator). Sterilize by autoclaving at 15lbs and 121C for 15 minutes. Cool this sterile solution and then add the following sterilized solutions to it :
Trypsin 2.0% 50 ml

Versene 0.2% 100 ml

Glucose 10.0% 5 ml

Do a sterility test as mentioned above before using this TVG.


  1. Autoclave all glassware before washing, at 120C, 15psi for 20min.

  2. The outside surface of glassware can be cleaned with Vim and inside with only Teepol and scrubbed with a clean brush , which is only meant for brushing glassware. Wash in tap water and leave in 5% Teepol solution overnight (can be boiled)

  3. Next morning wash in tap water at least 20 times and leave in 10% HC1 overnight.

  4. Next day wash in tap water and rinse in 2 changes of demineralised distilled water at least 10 times in each, leave in third bucket of demineralised distilled water overnight.

  5. Take out next day, dry it in hot air oven, pack and sterilize.

Packing and sterilization
Pipettes: Wrap the pipette with brown paper and sterilize in a

hot air oven at 160C for two hours.

Petridishes : Wrap the Petri dishes in brown paper and tie with

Twine and sterilize by hot air oven at 160C for

two hours.

Culture & media storage bottles, measuring cylinders and beakers :

Cover mouth with aluminum foil, over which brown paper is

tied with twine at the neck and sterilize in a hot

oven at 160C. Plastic measuring cylinders and beakers

are autoclaved at 120C, psi for 30min.

Plastic centrifuge tubes, Eppendorf tubes, screw cap vials & tubes, :

Arrange neatly the following items in a plastic or

glass beaker and cover the mouth with aluminum foil and

over that wrap brown paper tied with twine at the neck.

Sterilize by autoclaving at 120C, 15 psi for 30min.

Coverslips: Coverslips are put into a Petri dish , which is covered with brown

paper and tied with twine. Sterilize in a hot air oven at 160C for

two hours.

Filter Apparatus: Wrap filter apparatus first with aluminum foil and then with brown

paper, tie it with twine tightly. Sterilize by autoclaving at 120 C,

15 psi for 30min.

Solutions: Plug the mouth of the container with cotton, wrap it with brown

paper and tie it with twine. Sterilize by autoclaving at 121 C , 15

psi for 20 min.


  1. HSV - Demonstration of cytopathic effect (CPE) in Vero cell line.

  2. Grow Vero cells to confluence in Nunc flasks / 24 well dishes.

  3. Discard the growth medium.

  4. Infect the cell line with HSV-1 suspension at an MOI (multiplicity of infection) of 1.

  5. Adsorb the virus for 30 minutes at 37 C .

  6. Add the maintenance medium - 5ml for Nunc flask/10-15ml for Milk dilution bottle/100ml for a Roux bottle.

  7. Incubate the bottles at 37C in CO incubator.

  8. Observe daily for CPE both in the morning and in the evening.

  9. HSV produces CPE by 24-48 h. Two forms of CPE are observed. The most common begins with cytoplasmic granulation after which the cells become enlarged or ballooned. These macrocytes then become rounded, take on a refractile appearance, and undergo lytic degeneration. The second type of CPE is formation of multinucleated giant cells.

Measles virus : Demonstration of CPE in Vero cell line

  1. Grow Vero cells to form a monolayer in Nunc flasks/ Milk dilution bottles/Roux bottle.

  2. Discard the growth medium.

  3. Infect the cell line with measles virus suspension at an MOI(multiplicity of infection) of 1.

  4. Adsorb the virus for 30 minutes at 37 C.

  5. Add the maintenance medium - 5ml for Nunc flask/10-15ml for Milk dilution bottle/100ml for Roux bottle.

  6. Incubate bottles at 37C in CO incubator.

  7. Observe daily for CPE both in the morning and in the evening.

  8. Measles virus produces CPE after 4-5 days. Two types of CPE are described. One type seen after infection with wild virus and dilute inoccula is giant cell transformation. Multinucleated giant cells containing 10-100 nuclei form as a result of cell fusion induced by virus. The second type of CPE, spindle cell formation, is associated with measles virus , which has been passed repeatedly in tissue culture, or with repeated passage of undiluted inoccula.

Japanese Encephalitis virus : Demonstration of CPE in porcine stable kidney cell line (PS)

  1. Grow PS cells to form a monolayer in Nunc flasks/Milk dilution bottles/Roux bottle.

  2. Discard the growth medium.

  3. Infect the cell line with measles virus suspension at an MOI (multiplicity of infection) of 1.

  4. Adsorb the virus for 30 minutes at 37 C.

  5. Add the maintenance medium - 5ml for Nunc flask/10-15ml for Milk dilution bottle/100ml for a Roux bottle.

  6. Incubate the bottles at 37 C in CO incubator.

  7. Observe daily for CPE both in the morning and in the evening.

  8. JEV produces CPE after 18-20 hrs. CPE is seen in the form of rounding of cells followed by cell lysis.

Titration of Rabies virus in vivo by intracerebral inoculation

After a virus is propogated in either cell culture or in a suitable animal, we need to know the infectivity titre of the virus material obtained. This can be determined in vivo by inoculating increasing dilutions of the virus material to a susceptible host animal such as laboratory mice and based on mortality seen in different dilutions, the infectivity titre which is the reciprocal of highest dilution showing 50% mortality in the inoculated mice and expressed as LD50 /ml and can calculated by suing either Reed-Muench or Karber formula. As an example, titration of rabies virus is illustrated in this section.

Materials :

  1. Microbiological safety cabinet.

  2. Sterile Pipettes, 10ml and 1ml

  3. A tray with ice flasks. Rabies virus suspension (cell culture supernatant of infected brain emulsion)

  4. Mice (Swiss albino or Laka) 4-6 weeks old

  5. One ml syringe and needle for I/c inoculation

  6. Test tubes.

  7. Sterile PBS pH 7.4

  8. Sterile bovine or equine serum

  9. Cages for housing mice.


1. Working in microbiological safety cabinet, prepare the diluting fluid which is PBS containing 2% serum and dispense 9ml in test tubes labelled 10-1 to 10-7 and keep the test tubes in rack immersed in plenty of ice.

2. To make 10 fold (log) dilutions of the virus material, dilute 1ml of virus in 9ml of diluent to get the initial dilution i.e. 10-1. Subsequently transfer 1ml of previous virus dilution to next dilution by using at each step a fresh pipette, to achieve serial tenfold dilutions.

3.Inocultate 0.03 ml of each virus dilution intracerebrally into mice, starting from the highest dilution (in this case 10 -7). Use at least 6 mice per dilution and transfer these into cages appropriately labelled.

4.Observe the mice for 14 days. Any death occurring within first 5 days should be considered non-specific. Observe for specific signs and symptoms of rabies i.e., ruffling of hair, incoordination, tremors and paralysis of hind and fore limbs and finally death. Note down total number of specific deaths in each dilution and calculate the virus titre by using Reed-Muench or Karber formula.
Microtitration of Poliovirus using Vero cell line

Most of the commonly encountered human viruses produce characteristic cytopathic effect in one or the other cell lines routinely used in virology laboratories. The infectivity titres of these viruses can conveniently be determined by infecting a particular cell line with increasing dilutions of the virus material and determining the highest dilution producing cytopathic effect in 50% of the inoculated cells. The 50% end point dilution which in this case is expressed as TCID 50/ml can be calculated by using either Reed-Muench or Karber formulae. As an example, titration of polio virus I is illustrated in this section.

Materials :

  1. Microbiological safety cabinet

  2. Sterile test tubes or Pencillin vials

  3. Micro pippettes, 200 & 1000 microns

  4. Co2 incubator.

  5. 96 well flat bottom tissue culture plates(Nunc)

  6. Minimum Essential Medium(MEM,Sigma,HI) supplemented with antibiotics

  7. Fetal calf serum(FCS)

  8. Trypsin versene glucose coln.(TVG)

  9. VERO cells.

  10. Fluid containing PI.

  11. Inverted microscope

Procedure :

1.Make 10 fold serial dilutions, say from 10-3 to 10-7 of the virus material in MEM containing 2% FCS, dispensed in either test tubes or penicillin vials, changing pipettes or tips with each dilution. Keep the tubes in rack immersed in ice.

  1. Transfer 100 ul of each dilution to 4 wells of the micro-titre plate, starting from highest dilution to the lowest.

  2. Trypsinise one MD bottle containing a confluent monolayer of Vero cells and count the cells and dilute to 4x 105 cells per ml. In MEM containing 10% FCS. Dispense 100 ul of cell suspension in to each of the well containing virus dilution and also include 4 wells as cell control in which 100Ul of cell suspension is mixed with 100 UL of MEM with 2% FCS. While dispensing the virus dilutions and cell suspension it is necessary to keep the plate on ice tray.

  3. Cover the plate and keep it in CO2 incubator and adjust the temperature to 37 C.

  4. Read the plate under an inverted microscope after 3 to 4 days when a confluent monolayer of Vero cells can be seen in control wells. Look for the cytopathic effect in the wells inoculated with virus dilutions. This consists of rounding of cells, i.e. if 2 of 4 wells inoculated with 10-8 dilution shows cytopathic effect then the titre is 10-8 per 0.1 ml. The titre can also be calculated by the method of Reed and Muench.

Calculation of 50% endpoints

In any biological quantitation, the most desirable endpoint is one representing a situation in which half of the inoculated animals or cells show the reaction (death in the case of animals and in CPE case of cells) and the other half do not. In other words, the endpoint is taken as the highest dilution of the biological material , which produces desired reaction in 50% of the animals or cells. The 50% endpoint can be based on several types of reactions. The most widely used endpoint, based on mortality, is the LD50 (50% lethal dose). This terminology can also be applied to other host systems-for example, tissue cultures - in which the TCID50 represents the dose that gives rise to cytopathic effect in 50% of inoculated cultures. When computing, if closely-placed dilutions are used and in each dilution large number of animals or cells are used, it may be possible to interpolate a correct 50% end point dilution, but it is neither practical nor economical. Reed and Muench devised a simple method for estimation of 50% endpoints based on the large total number of animals, which gives the effect of using at the 2 critical dilutions between which the endpoint lies, larger groups of animals than were actually included in these dilutions.

Calculation of the LD 50 titre by the Reed-Muench method

Let us presume that we have titrated a virus suspension by inoculating mice and death is the reaction. The number of deaths and survivals in each dilution is tabulated as given in table I below:


Arrangement of data used in computation of LD50 titre by the method of Reed-Muench








10-3 6 0 17 0 17/17 100

10 -4 6 0 11 0 11/11 100

10 -5 4 2 5 2 5/7 71
10-6 1 5 1 7 1/8 13

10-7 0 6 0 13 0/13 0


Accumulated values for the total number of animals that dies or survival are obtained by adding in the direction of lowest to the highest values. The accumulated mortality ratios and the percentage mortality for each dilution is calculated.

In the example depicted in the table it can be seen that mortality in the 10-5, is higher than 50% and in the next higher dilution, 10-6 it is only 13%. So, we need to find the 50% endpoint dilution , which obviously lies between these dilutions. First, we have to calculate the proportionate distance (PD) of the 50% endpoint from these dilutions by using a simple formula.


DISTANCE = (% mortality at dilution next above 50%) - 50%


(% mortality at next __ (% mortality at next

dilution above 50%) dilution below 50%)

EX. : (71 - 50) 21

------------ = ----- = 0.36 or 0.4

(71 - 13) 58

The proportionate distance obtained thus has to be corrected by the dilution factor, which is the logarithm of the dilution step employed , which in this case is 1 (log of 10). Then the 50% endpoint dilution can be calculated thus:

Negative logarithm of LD50 titre = (negative logarithm of the next dilution above 50% mortality + PD) x dilution factor i.e. in this example, (-5 + 0.4) x 1 =

-5.4 or log LD50 titre = 10-5.4 per 0.03 ml which is the amount of material inoculated I/C. The same methodology can also be applied to compute TCID50 when cell culture system is used for virus titration. Each dilution is inoculated into a minimum of 4 to 6Wells in a 96 well tissue culture plate and observed for CPE , which in this case replaces mortality.
Virus titration by using the plaque assay

  1. Prepare confluent monolayers of cells (Porcine kidney for JEV and Hep-2 for Polio virus) in 24 well plates (Nunc).

  2. Prepare serial 10-fold dilutions (101 to 107 ) of virus in chilled maintenance medium (MEM, with 1% serum).

  3. Remove culture medium and add 0.2ml of virus inoculum, starting from the highest dilution. Ensure that a film of medium completely covers the cell sheet.

  4. Incubate the plate at 37 C for 1 hour with intermittent rocking of the plate.

  5. Remove the inoculum, preferably with a pipette and then add 1.5 ml of agarose overlay medium (growth medium with 0.3% agarose and 2.5% FCS).

  6. Ensure that the overlay medium has spread evenly over the monolayer, leave at room temperature for 10 mins and then incubate at 37 C .

  7. Examine the monolayers daily, starting from second day of incubation.

  8. Once the plaques have developed, usually by the fourth day post inoculation, count the number of plaques at each dilution, remove the agarose overlay and gently wash the monolayer with PBS.

  9. Stain the plate with 0.1% crystal violet solution and count the plaques again.

  10. Estimate the virus titre as a plaque forming units per ml (pfu /ml) as follows by counting the number of plaques at an appropriate dilution.

For example :

Number of plaques produced 9

Dilution of virus 1 x 105

Volume of inoculum 0.2 ml

Virus titre = 9 x 1x105 x 1/5 pfu per ml

= 4.5 x 106

Enteroviruses including polio viruses cause a variety of CNS manifestations including aseptic maningitis, encephalitis and paralysis. These viruses are natural inhabitants of human intestinal tract and they can be easily isolated from samples of feces or from rectal swabs. But mere isolation of a enterovirus from stool sample may not prove the diagnosis as these may be present in normal stool specimens also. Therefore isolation should also follow a demonstration of a serological response to corroborate the diagnosis. However isolation of virus from CSF, or from brain postmortem cases is diagnostic.

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