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Sci Rep . Establishment of well-differentiated camelid airway cultures to study Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

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  • Sci Rep . Establishment of well-differentiated camelid airway cultures to study Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus


    Sci Rep


    . 2022 Jun 20;12(1):10340.
    doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-13777-y.
    Establishment of well-differentiated camelid airway cultures to study Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus


    Mitra Gultom # 1 2 3 4 , Annika Kratzel # 1 2 3 , Jasmine Portmann 1 2 , Hanspeter Stalder 1 2 , Astrid Chanfon B├Ątzner 5 , Hans Gantenbein 2 6 , Corinne Gurtner 2 6 , Nadine Ebert 1 2 , Hans Henrik Gad 7 , Rune Hartmann 7 , Horst Posthaus 2 6 , Patrik Zanolari 8 , Stephanie Pfaender 1 2 9 , Volker Thiel 10 11 12 , Ronald Dijkman 13 14 15 16



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    In 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged in Saudi Arabia and was mostly associated with severe respiratory illness in humans. Dromedary camels are the zoonotic reservoir for MERS-CoV. To investigate the biology of MERS-CoV in camelids, we developed a well-differentiated airway epithelial cell (AEC) culture model for Llama glama and Camelus bactrianus. Histological characterization revealed progressive epithelial cellular differentiation with well-resemblance to autologous ex vivo tissues. We demonstrate that MERS-CoV displays a divergent cell tropism and replication kinetics profile in both AEC models. Furthermore, we observed that in the camelid AEC models MERS-CoV replication can be inhibited by both type I and III interferons (IFNs). In conclusion, we successfully established camelid AEC cultures that recapitulate the in vivo airway epithelium and reflect MERS-CoV infection in vivo. In combination with human AEC cultures, this system allows detailed characterization of the molecular basis of MERS-CoV cross-species transmission in respiratory epithelium.


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