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Quantitative analysis of particles, genomes and infectious particles in supernatants of haemorrhagic fever virus cell cultures

Manfred Weidmann1*, Amadou A Sall2, Jean-Claude Manuguerra3, Lamine Koivogui4, Aime Adjami5, Faye Fatou Traoré6, Kjell-Olof Hedlund7, Gunnel Lindegren7 and Ali Mirazimi7

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Virology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany

2 l' Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal

3 Institut Pasteur, CIBU, Paris, France

4 Institute of Medical Microbiology Université de Conakry, Guinea

5 Multi Disease Surveillance Centre WHO, Ougadougou, Burkina Faso

6 Fondation Merieux Mali, Bamako, Mali

7 Center for microbiological preparedness,Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:81  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-81

Published: 24 February 2011


Information on the replication of viral haemorrhagic fever viruses is not readily available and has never been analysed in a comparative approach. Here, we compared the cell culture growth characteristics of haemorrhagic fever viruses (HFV), of the Arenaviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Flavivridae virus families by performing quantitative analysis of cell culture supernatants by (i) electron microscopy for the quantification of virus particles, (ii) quantitative real time PCR for the quantification of genomes, and (iii) determination of focus forming units by coating fluorescent antibodies to infected cell monolayers for the quantification of virus infectivity.

The comparative analysis revealed that filovirus and RVFV replication results in a surplus of genomes but varying degrees of packaging efficiency and infectious particles. More efficient replication and packaging was observed for Lassa virus, and Dengue virus resulting in a better yield of infectious particles while, YFV turned out to be most efficient with only 4 particles inducing one FFU. For Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) a surplus of empty shells was observed with only one in 24 particles equipped with a genome. The complete particles turned out to be extraordinarily infectious.