Evaluation of alpaca tracheal explants as an ex vivo model for the study of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection



Abstract Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) poses a serious threat to public health. Here, we established an ex vivo alpaca tracheal explant (ATE) model using an air-liquid interface culture system to gain insights into MERS-CoV infection in the camelid lower respiratory tract. ATE can be infected by MERS-CoV, being 103 TCID50/mL the minimum viral dosage required to establish a productive infection. IFNs and antiviral ISGs were not induced in ATE cultures in response to MERS-CoV infection, strongly suggesting that ISGs expression observed in vivo is rather a consequence of the IFN induction occurring in the nasal mucosa of camelids.
Date made available4 Sept 2022

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