Retrovirus infection: Effect of time and target cell number

Jeffrey R. Morgan, Joseph M. Ledoux, Richard G. Snow, Ronald G. Tompkins, Martin L. Yarmush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Using a model amphotropic recombinant retrovirus encoding the Escherichia coli lacZ gene and quantitative assays to measure virus infection, we have determined the effects of time and target cell number on infectivity. Infection of various numbers of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts showed that the extent of lacZ virus infection was dependent on virus concentration and independent of target cell number. These results demonstrate that multiplicity of infection is not an accurate predictor of the efficiency of retroviral infection. Varying the time of vital infection revealed that maximal infection occurred after greater than 24 h of exposure of the cells to the lacZ virus. Half- maximal infection occurred after 5 h of exposure. After 2 h of adsorption at 37°C, the majority of infectious virus was not adsorbed to cells but was unbound and able to infect other cells. These results are discussed in terms of both their relevance to the fundamental biology of retrovirus infection and the use of recombinant retroviruses for retrovirus-mediated gene transfer with purposes of gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6994-7000
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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