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WCVM Launches Initiative to Create Bank of Cell Lines for Culturing Viruses
Dr. Matt Loewen - Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Farmscape for February 7, 2020

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine has launched an initiative aimed at identifying new cell lines that can be used to propagate viruses for diagnostics, epidemiological investigation and other applications.
Scientists with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are working to create a bank of cell lines that can be used to culture respiratory viruses that affect cattle and swine for use in diagnostics, vaccine development and other applications.
Dr. Matt Loewen, an Associate Professor in Veterinary Medical Biosciences with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains we have a lack of cell lines from both species in which to propagate the viruses.

Clip-Dr. Matt Loewen-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
To isolate a virus, you have to take a sample from a pig, a swab or something and then bring it to a laboratory and mix it in with cells and the virus can then replicate in these cells and produce more viruses and then that allows us to look at the full genome of the virus that could be present in the barn.
The current problem is we have a lack of cell lines from both species to propagate the viruses in.
A lot of the cell lines that we have have been around for awhile and often times they're not even cattle or pigs.
They're a monkey cell line or a dog cell line but the viruses do seem to go in them and propagate.
The problem with this is that there's a good chance that you may not be isolating the virus that you're looking for, just because of the lack of appropriate receptors on the cell lines that you're using to propagate the virus.
So, the goal of this research is to create a large bank of cell lines derived from both cattle and pigs with different genetic backgrounds which will probably have different receptors for these viruses that we're interested in.

Dr. Loewen says the hope is to gain a better representation of receptors to propagate the viruses more efficiently.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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