Publications & Reports

Adaptation of Marek's disease virus to the Vero continuous cell line.

D Jaikumar, K M Read, G A Tannock


Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is a highly infectious, cell-associated oncogenic herpesvirus. Production of MD vaccines has been limited to primary chicken and duck embryo fibroblast (CEF and DEF) cultures. These have a limited life span and cannot be readily stored in liquid nitrogen. Moreover, the need to prepare CEF and DEF cells on a regular basis from 10 to 11 day-old embryos derived from a flock that must be tested continuously for the presence of avian pathogens adds to the cost of vaccine production. A continuous cell line that would support MDV replication could have significant advantages for the rapid large-scale preparation of MD vaccines. In this report, we describe the adaptation to growth of CEF-grown preparations of serotype 1 and serotype 3 (herpesvirus of turkeys; HVT) strains of MDV in cells of the Vero continuous cell line. Although both viruses produced typical CPE, higher levels of infectious progeny and more extensive virus-specific immunofluorescence were obtained for HVT than for the serotype 1 virus. PCR and pulsed field electrophoresis (PFE) analysis of the DNA from Vero cells infected with either virus confirmed the presence of virus-specific DNA.


  • Journal: Veterinary microbiology
  • Published: 02/03/2001
  • Volume: 79
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 75-82