, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 209-219,
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Cell lines from the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata


Primary cell cultures (n = 16) were initiated from tissues of embryonic and neonatal larval Ornithodoros moubata following methods developed for hard ticks. After maintenance for 20–25 months in vitro, cell multiplication commenced in surviving cultures, leading to the establishment of six cell lines designated OME/CTVM21, 22, 24, 25, 26 and 27. All lines are maintained at 28°C, with subculture at 2–8 week intervals. The cultures comprise heterogeneous populations of large cells of 15–100 μm in diameter, often with finger-like protrusions and/or intracellular crystals, rarely attached, predominantly floating and forming clumps or hollow multicellular vesicles up to 1 mm in diameter. Attempts to cryopreserve the cells are described. Tick-borne encephalitis virus has been serially passaged ten times in OME/CTVM21 cells without significant decrease in virus production and with no change in its biological properties as shown by the size and morphology of plaques produced in porcine kidney cells.