Poliovirus pp 109-127 | Cite as

Quality Assurance in the Polio Laboratory. Cell Sensitivity and Cell Authentication Assays

  • Glynis DunnEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1387)


The accuracy of poliovirus surveillance is largely dependent on the quality of the cell lines used for virus isolation, which is the foundation of poliovirus diagnostic work. Many cell lines are available for the isolation of enteroviruses, whilst genetically modified L20B cells can be used as a diagnostic tool for the identification of polioviruses. To be confident that cells can consistently isolate the virus of interest, it is necessary to have a quality assurance system in place, which will ensure that the cells in use are not contaminated with other cell lines or microorganisms and that they remain sensitive to the viruses being studied.

The sensitivity of cell lines can be assessed by the regular testing of a virus standard of known titer in the cell lines used for virus isolation. The titers obtained are compared to previously obtained titers in the same assay, so that any loss of sensitivity can be detected.

However, the detection of cell line cross contamination is more difficult. DNA bar coding is a technique that uses a short DNA sequence from a standardized position in the genome as a molecular diagnostic assay for species-level identification. For almost all groups of higher animals, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 of mitochondrial DNA (CO1) is emerging as the standard barcode region. This region is 648 nucleotide base pairs long in most phylogenetic groups and is flanked by regions of conserved sequences, making it relatively easy to isolate and analyze. DNA barcodes vary among individuals of the same species to a very minor degree (generally less than 1–2 %), and a growing number of studies have shown that the COI sequences of even closely related species differ by several per cent, making it possible to identify different species with high confidence.

Key words

Cell authentication Cell sensitivity Quality assurance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Biological Standards and ControlMedicines and Healthcare products Regulatory AgencyPotters BarUK

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