PMID: 39085May 1, 1979

Development of dengue virus plaques under serum-free overlay medium

Journal of Clinical Microbiology
B Malewicz, H M Jenkin


An improved plaque assay for dengue virus was developed utilizing baby hamster kidney (BHK-21) cells initially grown in shaker culture. Different media preparations were tested for uniform and fast formation of BHK-21 cell sheets. Several overlay formulas were tested to develop a rapid plaque assay in 6- and 24-well plastic plates. The best results were obtained utilizing Eagle minimal essential medium (pH 7.2 to 7.4) supplemented with 1 mg of NaHCO3 per ml and 5% newborn calf serum for the formation of cell monolayers after 8 to 24 h of incubation at 37 degrees C. Serum-free Eagle minimal essential medium supplemented with 1% methylcellulose and buffered with 10 mM N-2-hydroxyethyl piperazine-N'-2-ethanesulfonic acid (pH 7.4 to 7.6) was used as an overlay medium. This system allowed for plaque formation after 3 days of incubation of dengue type 2 virus and after 4 days for dengue type 1 and 4 viruses.

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