The use of cell cultures is common practice in infection research. In the field of zoonoses research, however, these models often reach their limits because new pathogens cannot be isolated and propagated in conventional cell culture systems. Especially for new pathogens, which are often detected in rodents or insectivores, suitable cell culture models that can adequately represent an infection in the reservoir host have been lacking until now.
Within the cross-sectional project "EpiZell", new respiratory and renal epithelial cell cultures from rodents and insectivores are to be established and characterized, which will enable research on new and recurrent infectious diseases in the future.
The new cell lines will be fully characterized for their respective properties and adapted to standardized cultivation conditions. They will also be tested for their suitability as polarizing epithelial cell models with filter inserts. The infectivity of the cells will be tested with model viruses and intracellular bacteria.
For the establishment of new, standardized and characterized cell lines, this is an important contribution to the development of methods for zoonoses research, especially in the field of reservoir host research.
The methods and knowledge as well as the cell lines are readily disseminated via the zoonoses platform. The cell lines are made available via the DIP.
Dr. Isabella Eckerle (Universitätsklinikum Bonn)
Funding duration: 24 months
Project start: 01.01.2014
Funding organisation: BMBF