Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Virology


Geisel School of Medicine


Although clinical trials with human subjects are essential for determination of safety, infectivity, and immunogenicity, it is de- sirable to know in advance the infectiousness of potential candidate live attenuated influenza vaccine strains for human use. We compared the replication kinetics of wild-type and live attenuated influenza viruses, including H1N1, H3N2, H9N2, and B strains, in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, primary epithelial cells derived from human adenoids, and human bron- chial epithelium (NHBE cells). Our data showed that despite the fact that all tissue culture models lack a functional adaptive im- mune system, differentiated cultures of human epithelium exhibited the greatest restriction for all H1N1, H3N2, and B vaccine viruses studied among three cell types tested and the best correlation with their levels of attenuation seen in clinical trials with humans. In contrast, the data obtained with MDCK cells were the least predictive of restricted viral replication of live attenuated vaccine viruses in humans. We were able to detect a statistically significant difference between the replication abilities of the U.S. (A/Ann Arbor/6/60) and Russian (A/Leningrad/134/17/57) cold-adapted vaccine donor strains in NHBE cultures. Since live at- tenuated pandemic influenza vaccines may potentially express a hemagglutinin and neuraminidase from a non-human influenza virus, we assessed which of the three cell cultures could be used to optimally evaluate the infectivity and cellular tropism of vi- ruses derived from different hosts. Among the three cell types tested, NHBE cultures most adequately reflected the infectivity and cellular tropism of influenza virus strains with different receptor specificities. NHBE cultures could be considered for use as a screening step for evaluating the restricted replication of influenza vaccine candidates.



Original Citation

Ilyushina NA, Ikizler MR, Kawaoka Y, Rudenko LG, Treanor JJ, Subbarao K, Wright PF. Comparative study of influenza virus replication in MDCK cells and in primary cells derived from adenoids and airway epithelium. J Virol. 2012 Nov;86(21):11725-34. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01477-12. Epub 2012 Aug 22. PMID: 22915797; PMCID: PMC3486302.