Virus culture has played significant roles in basic and clinical virology, with a number of advantages that cannot be attainable by modern molecular techniques. However, virus culture is generally a slower process, as it inevitably takes the period of a full replication cycle of a given virus. A genetically modified cell culture with a virus-inducible marker is described here, using a frequently isolated DNA virus (herpes simplex virus) as a model. The assay system relies on expression of the reporter gene driven by a specific viral promoter that is triggered early in the course of viral infection. The reporter gene employed was green fluorescent protein (GFP) or secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP), whose assays offer real-time detection or quantification, respectively. This cell-based assay is simple, rapid, sensitive, specific, and quantitative and serves as a phenotypic method for determination of antiviral susceptibilities.
Key Words: Herpes simplex virus; reporter cell line; reporter gene, green fluorescent protein; secreted alkaline phosphatase; acyclovir; antiviral susceptibility testing; ICP10 promoter.
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