Working with Zika and Usutu Viruses In Vitro.
Usutu (USUV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses are emerging arboviruses of significant medical and veterinary importance. These viruses have not been studied as well as other medically important arboviruses such as West Nile (WNV), dengue (DENV), or chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses. As such, information regarding the behavior of ZIKV and USUV viruses in the laboratory is dated. Usutu virus re-emerged in Austria in 2001 and has since spread throughout the European and Asian continents causing significant mortality among birds. Zika virus has recently appeared in the Western Hemisphere and has exhibited high rates of birth defects and sexual transmission. Information about the characteristics of USUV and ZIKV viruses are needed to better understand the transmission, dispersal, and adaptation of these viruses in new environments. Since their initial characterization in the middle of last century, technologies and reagents have been developed that could enhance our abilities to study these pathogens. Currently, standard laboratory methods for these viruses are limited to 2-3 cell lines and many assays take several days to generate meaningful data. The goal of this study was to characterize these viruses in cells from multiple diverse species. Cell lines from 17 species were permissive to both ZIKV and USUV. These viruses were able to replicate to significant titers in most of the cell lines tested. Moreover, cytopathic effects were observed in 8 of the cell lines tested. These data indicate that a variety of cell lines can be used to study ZIKV and USUV infection and may provide an updated foundation for the study of host-pathogen interactions, model development, and the development of therapeutics.
Barr, KL; Anderson, BD; Prakoso, D; Long, MT
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