Influenza pp 89-110 | Cite as

Cytopathogenesis and Cytopathology of Influenza Virus Infection of Cells in Culture

  • Edwin D. Kilbourne


A critical appraisal of available evidence suggests that all target cells in which influenza virus replication occurs are doomed to destruction. Studies of apparently noncytopathic viruses in which foci of infection were localized with a chro-mogenic neuraminidase substrate demonstrated that in all instances when neuraminidase-positive foci could be demonstrated, cell necrosis (cytopathic effect, CPE) was subsequently detected by microscopy (Palese et al., 1973; E.D. Kil-bourne, unpublished data). Assuming, then, the absence of temperate or latent infection, differences in virulence, pathogenicity, and persistence among influenza viruses must be explained as a resultant of virus and host-cell factors that determine the probability of host cell escape from infection under defined conditions. These conditions may favor the emergence of DI particles or the induction of interference or interferon that may influence the pattern of microinfection (plaque formation) or the persistence of virus in serially propagated cell cultures. In persistent infection of laboratory cell cultures, influenza virus mutants may evolve with altered replication, neuraminidase activity, and interfering properties. However, even these mutants were demonstrably cytopathic (Frielle et al., 1984).


Influenza Virus Plaque Formation Cytopathic Effect Influenza Virus Infection Monkey Kidney Cell 
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© Edwin D. Kilbourne, M.D. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin D. Kilbourne
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Sinai School of MedicineCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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