Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 of cell lines and substrates commonly used to diagnose and isolate influenza and other viruses

Li Wang, Xiaoyu Fan, Gaston Bonenfant, Dan Cui, Jaber Hossain, Nannan Jiang, Gloria Larson, Michael Currier, Jimma Liddell, Malania Wilson, Azaibi Tamin, Jennifer Harcourt, Jessica Ciomperlik-Patton, Hong Pang, Naomi Dybdahl-Sissoko, Ray Campagnoli, Pei Yong Shi, John Barnes, Natalie J. Thornburg, David E. WentworthBin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Co-infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other viruses has been reported. We evaluated cell lines commonly used to isolate viruses and diagnose related diseases for their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Although multiple kidney cell lines from monkeys were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, we found many cell types derived from humans, dogs, minks, cats, mice, and chicken were not. We analyzed MDCK cells, which are most commonly used for surveillance and study of influenza viruses, and found that they were not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. The low expression level of the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor and lower receptor affinity to SARS-CoV-2 spike, which could be overcome by overexpression of canine angiotensin converting enzyme 2 in trans, strengthened the cellular barrier to productive infection. Moreover, a D614G mutation in the spike protein did not appear to affect SARS-CoV-2 cell tropism. Our findings should help avert inadvertent propagation of SARS-CoV-2 from diagnostic cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1380-1392
Number of pages13
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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