Influenza virus assays based on virus-inducible reporter cell lines

Yunsheng Li, Audrey Larrimer, Teresa Curtiss, Jaekyung Kim, Abby Jones, Heather Baird-Tomlinson, Andrew Pekosz, Paul D. Olivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Virus-inducible reporter genes have been used as the basis of virus detection and quantitation assays for a number of viruses. A strategy for influenza A virus-induction of a reporter gene was recently described. In this report, we describe the extension of this strategy to influenza B virus, the generation of stable cell lines with influenza A and B virus-inducible reporter genes, and the use of these cells in various clinically relevant viral assays. Each of the cell lines described herein constitutively express an RNA transcript that contains a reporter gene coding region flanked by viral 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions (UTR) and therefore mimics an influenza virus genomic segment. Upon infection of the cells with influenza virus the virus-inducible reporter gene segment (VIRGS) is replicated and transcribed by the viral polymerase complex resulting in reporter gene expression. Findings: Reporter gene induction occurs after infection with a number of laboratory strains and clinical isolates of influenza virus including several H5N1 strains. The induction is dose-dependent and highly specific for influenza A or influenza B viruses. Conclusions: These cell lines provide the basis of simple, rapid, and objective assays that involve virus quantitation such as determination of viral titer, assessment of antiviral susceptibility, and determination of antibody neutralization titer. These cell lines could be very useful for influenza virus researchers and vaccine manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalInfluenza and other Respiratory Viruses
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Influenza virus
  • Neutralizing antisera
  • Reporter cell lines
  • Virus detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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