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Disease models

3D human neural progenitor cell model of persistent Varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection

Tissue-like assemblies of human neural progenitor cells could be useful for studying VZV, which only infects human cells. In the model, normal human neural progenitor cells are organized in 3D, tissue-like assemblies and infected with fluorescently labeled VZV. In culture, the infected cells remained viable for three months, transcribed viral genes and released infectious VZV particles. Next steps could include using the model to screen for compounds that target reactivation of latent VZV particles and virus production.

SciBX 6(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.973
Published online Sept. 12, 2013

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Goodwin, T.J. et al. PLoS Pathog.; published online Aug. 1, 2013;
Contact: Benedikt B. Kaufer, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Contact: Randall J. Cohrs, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, Colo.

Contact: Thomas J. Goodwin, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas