Research into the diverse aspects of virology are made possible by a broad range of applications and assay formats, from relatively simple methods for viral detection to those designed to elucidate complex immune responses and pathological processes. BioTek instruments provide versatile platforms for conducting viral research, with optimized imaging- and plate reader-based solutions, as well as liquid handling and automation tools for increased assay throughput and reproducibility.
The TCID50 (50% Tissue Culture Infectious Dose) assay is a traditional method used by virologists to determine viral titers in both stocks and samples. Many viruses do not form traditional plaques and there may not be tools readily available to determine viral foci by immunolabeling or fluorescent reporters. In these cases, infection is indicated by Cytopathic Effect (CPE), phenotypically indicated by cell rounding, fusing, or other morphological changes.
The plaque assay is a well established method for measuring virus concentration as it relates to infectious dose. The assay relies on determining the number of plaque forming units (pfu) created in a monolayer of virus-infected cells. Plaques form when a virus-infected cell Iyses, leading to a subsequent cycle of infection and lysis of neighboring cells.
The microneutralization assay is a highly sensitive and specific assay for detecting virus-specific neutralizing antibodies and their corresponding titers that is amenable to high-density microplates. Immunofluorescence staining of a viral protein, or the use of viruses expressing a fluorescent reporter construct, provides a robust assay format for measuring the neutralizing effects of test antibodies.
The Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSpot (ELISpot) assay is a flexible and sensitive method for investigating the frequency of cytokine-secreting cells within a population.
Host protein receptor expression is the ultimate factor that determines if a host cell is permissible to viral entry and infection. In viral research, it is essential to determine which cell types, either primary or immortalized, are permissible to viral entry.
Learn more about Virology applications - search our Application Notes and technical documentation in Resources.