Titration of cell-associated varicella-zoster virus with the MV9G reporter cell line for antiviral studies

Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Journal of Virological Methods
Author(s): Xiaojie Li, Xiaoxia Li, Wei Gong, Guanqing Wang, Zhenling Lu, Ningjun Wu, Chengxiang Lian, Ling Huang, Naoki Inoue
Titration of the cell-associated virus (CAV) of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is essential for antiviral studies. A VZV reporter cell line, MV9G, generated in our previous study expresses firefly luciferase upon CAV infection in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that use of the cell line for titration is feasible. In this study, MeWo cells infected with VZV vaccine Oka (vOka) strain or with clinical isolates obtained from patients with varicella or zoster were used as CAV. A co-culture of MV9G cells with the virus-infected MeWo cells were set up and optimized for titration of CAV. Luciferase activities of MV9G cells measured as relative light units (RLUs) of chemiluminescence correlated well (r > 0.9, p < 0.05) both with quantities of viral DNAs measured by TaqMan PCR and with numbers of viral foci detected by immunostaining with a monoclonal antibody against VZV IE62. In addition, the usefulness of MV9G for antiviral studies was exemplified by treatment of the VZV-infected cells with various concentrations of acyclovir. Thus, the reporter cell-based titration of CAV by measuring the induced RLUs may be a reliable way to estimate viral foci and viral DNAs.