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General question on viral cultures

David Riese DRIESE at biomed.med.yale.edu
Sat Feb 19 16:58:31 EST 1994

In <940218.214949.26463 at cheshire.oxy.edu> jt at cheshire.oxy.edu writes:

> General virology question:  I have read in several places that the ability
> to culture a specific virus is very helpful, if not necessary, in
> developing therapies, vaccines, etc. for fighting viral disease.  Could
> someone offer a concise explanation of the reasons why this is so? 
> JT

Here are two reasons:

1) Vaccines can be made from attenuated viral strains.  It is easier to 
produce attenuated viral strains if you have an in vitro system for 
propagating the virus.

2) Vaccines can also be made from inactivated virus stocks.  Again, to make 
inactive virus stocks you need an in vitro system for propagating the virus 
so you can make enough virus to inactivate it and produce a vaccine.

BTW - I study viruses (papillomaviruses) for which there is no in vitro 
method of propagation, and it makes things a lot more difficult for me. :-(

David Riese
Pathology and Genetics Departments
Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine
DRIESE at Biomed.med.yale.edu

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