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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Infection of Porcine Cells with Human Herpesviruses

Infection of Porcine Cells with Human Herpesviruses
J.H. Kim, E.-S. Jung, Y. Kwon, E.-Y. Choi, H. Jeong, S. Kim, C.-G. Park, S.-J. Kim, and E.-S. Hwang
Porcine organs are valuable candidate materials for xenotransplantation to humans.
Long-term maintenance of well functioning transplants is a prerequisite for success.
Transplanted organs may be damaged by immune reactions or by infectious agents in
hosts. Human herpesviruses (HHVs) establish life-long latency in humans after a primary
infection. They can be reactivated with various stimuli, including immunosuppression. This
study was performed to verify the infectivity of some HHVs toward porcine cells. PK-15
cells infected with HHV-1 and HHV-2 showed cytopathology from 1 day after infection.
Immunofluorescent (IF) staining of HHV-1– and HHV-2–infected PK-15 cells with
respective antibodies demonstrated the expression of the respective viral antigens.
Permissiveness of PK-15 to HHV-1 and -2 was confirmed by an infection test on Vero cells.
Islet cells infected with HHV-5 showed no gross morphologic changes during the
experimental course. A limited portion of islet cells reacted only to anti-IE1 and anti-IE2,
but not to anti-UL44 or anti-gB antibody by IF staining, whereas a small portion of
endothelial cells reacted to anti-IEs and anti-UL44, but not to anti-gB antibody. HHV-1
and -2 can permissively infect porcine cells, but HHV-5 infects a small proportion of cells
with limited viral protein expression. HHV-4 could not transform peripheral blood
mononuclear cells from miniature pigs. Collectively, because some HHVs can infect and
damage porcine cells or impair their functions, HHVs should be cautiously monitored and
controlled in humans when porcine cells or organs are transplanted to human beings.

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