Human and Animal Cell Lines - Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

  • Which viruses are detected in human and primate cell lines?

    We have established PCR assays for the detection of the human pathogenic viruses including Hepatitis B viruses (HBV), Hepatitis C viruses (HCV), Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1), Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV2), and Human T-cell leukemia virus types I and II (HTLV-I/-II). To determine the transformation of B cells by Epstein Barr virus, we also established an assay for the detection of EBV, which is categorized as risk group 2.

    Additionally, we are able to detect Human herpes virus type 8 (HHV-8) and Transfusion transmitted virus (TTV).

  • How should I prepare and send samples for virus detection?

    Human pathogenic viruses exhibit greater genomic diversity than bacterial contaminants. The human pathogenic viruses consist of DNA and RNA viruses and have different infective characteristics. Thus, different sample materials and procedures are used for the analyses. The following list shows the sample material matching the different virus types:

    HIV-1, HIV-2, HTLV-I/-II, EBV: genomic DNA
    HCV, EBV: total RNA or cDNA
    HBV: DNA from cell culture supernatant

    When frozen cultures are sent we will thaw and culture the cells for several days to collect the samples. This additional labour incurs a surcharge. Cryopreserved cultures should be sent on dry ice by courier.

    If you send a growing culture, we will immediately collect the samples depending on the assays to be performed. This is the easiest and least expensive way to perform the assays. The culture vessels should be filled with medium and may be sent by conventional mail or courier despatched no later than on Wednesday's.

    DNA and/or RNA/cDNA may also be sent. This material should be sent refrigerated or as precipitate at room temperature. Supernatants for HBV detection maybe sent at room temperature.

  • How much material should I send?

    For viable cells, about 5x10E6 cells are sufficient for the extractions of DNA and RNA (see submission form page 2 for detailed information on how to prepare and how to send the material).

    For nucleic acid preparations, the DNA of about 2x10E6 cells is sufficient for our needs. If the detection of hepatitis C virus is ordered, please send an extra preparation of total RNA also from about 2x10E6 cells.

  • What does the report look like?

    The report consists of a description of the method, the result of the analysis, and a photo of the ethidium bromide stained gel.