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Open AccessArticle

Optimized Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Culture and Its Application to Measurements of HEV Infectivity

Department of Virology, National Reference Center for HEV, CHU Purpan, 31059 Toulouse, France
Centre de Physiopathologie de Toulouse Purpan (CPTP), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Inserm UMR1043, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS UMR5282, Université de Toulouse, 31024 Toulouse, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 139;
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 24 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major concern in public health worldwide. Infections with HEV genotypes 3, 4, or 7 can lead to chronic hepatitis while genotype 1 infections can trigger severe hepatitis in pregnant women. Infections with all genotypes can worsen chronic liver diseases. As virions are lipid-associated in blood and naked in feces, efficient methods of propagating HEV clinical strains in vitro and evaluating the infectivity of both HEV forms are needed. We evaluated the spread of clinical strains of HEV genotypes 1 (HEV1) and 3 (HEV3) by quantifying viral RNA in culture supernatants and cell lysates. Infectivity was determined by endpoint dilution and calculation of the tissue culture infectious dose 50 (TCID50). An enhanced HEV production could be obtained varying the composition of the medium, including fetal bovine serum (FBS) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) content. This increased TCID50 from 10 to 100-fold and allowed us to quantify HEV1 infectivity. These optimized methods for propagating and measuring HEV infectivity could be applied to health safety processes and will be useful for testing new antiviral drugs. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis E virus; culture; infectivity; TCID50 hepatitis E virus; culture; infectivity; TCID50
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Capelli, N.; Dubois, M.; Pucelle, M.; Da Silva, I.; Lhomme, S.; Abravanel, F.; Chapuy-Regaud, S.; Izopet, J. Optimized Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Culture and Its Application to Measurements of HEV Infectivity. Viruses 2020, 12, 139.

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