Letter | Published:

Rapid Cell Culture Assay Technique for Murine Leukaemia Viruses


INFECTION of susceptible mouse cells in culture with murine leukaemia viruses (MLV) does not cause any observable change in cellular morphology, even though continuous virus replication in these cells can often be demonstrated. Complement-fixation1 and fluorescent antibody2 techniques as well as interference3 or potentiation4 of focus formation by “defective” murine sarcoma viruses have all been used successfully to detect and to quantitate in vitro infection of mouse cell cultures with MLV. These techniques, however, are less than ideal because they involve special reagents and lengthy incubation, or because they are relatively insensitive, Klement et al.5 have shown that the XC cell line6, derived from a rat tumour induced by the Prague strain of Rous sarcoma virus, undergoes syncytium formation when present in mixed cultures together with MLV-infected mouse cells. This phenomenon of mixed culture cytopathogenicity has been used to develop a plaque assay for murine leukaemia viruses in mouse cell cultures (unpublished observations of W. P. Rowe et al.).

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