SARS- and Other Coronaviruses

Volume 454 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 109-117


Isolation and Propagation of Coronaviruses inEmbryonated Eggs

  • James S. GuyAffiliated withCollege of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University

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The embryonated egg is a complex structure comprising an embryo and its supporting membranes (chorioallantoic, amniotic, yolk). The developing embryo and its membranes provide the diversity of cell types that are needed for successful replication of a wide variety of different viruses. Within the family Coronaviridae, the embryonated egg has been used as a host system primarily for two group 3 coronaviruses, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and turkey coronavirus (TCoV), but it also has been shown to be suitable for pheasant coronavirus. IBV replicates well in the embryonated chicken egg, regardless of the inoculation route; however, the allantoic route is favored as the virus replicates extensively in chorioallantoic membrane and high titers are found in allantoic fluid. TCoV replicates only in embryo tissues, within epithelium of the intestines and bursa of Fabricius; thus amniotic inoculation is required for isolation and propagation of this virus. Embryonated eggs also provide a potential host system for studies aimed at identifying other, novel coronavirus species.

Key Words

embryonated egg allantoic amniotic chicken turkey isolation propagation diagnosis detection