Viruskweek

The virus detection by cell culture group is divided in two separate sections:

1) cell- culture section 
in this room specimens and virus are prohibited
2) virus isolation section 
in this room the specimens are inoculated onto the cell-cultures to propagate the  possibly present viruses.

Both sections are mainly involved with routine diagnostic services for the hospital and training/ teaching of students to become a medical technologist. At the cell-culture section two technicians are responsible for the production of various cell lines and primary cells. The most frequently used cell types are HEp-2 cells, MDCK, tertiary monkey kidney cells, RD cells and human embryo lung cells (HEL). All these cell types are grown in microtitre plates for rapid virus isolation proceedings.

The virus detection is performed using different techniques: virus isolation, direct antigen detection by immunofluorescence or rapid antigen tests, ELISA systems, and electron microscopy. Examination of specimens by electron microscopy is carried out if indicated. Rapidity of electron microscopy is a major advantage of this technique and it is effective for identification of virus morphology. In the era of polymerase chain reaction assays immunological methods and enzyme immunoassays still offer a rapid, sensitive and specific detection of viruses. In total 4 technicians are involved with these activities. The virus detection group takes care for the distribution of the specimens for the external quality scheme for virus detection of the Dutch External Quality Medical Laboratories.