Investigation of cell culture conditions for optimal foot-and-mouth disease virus production
Background Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious and economically devastating disease with endemic occurrence in many parts of the world. Vaccination is the method of choice to eradicate the disease and to limit the viral spread. The vaccine production process is based on mammalian cell culture, in which the viral yield varies in dependence of the composition of the culture media. For foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), very little is known about the culture media components that are necessary to grow the virus to high titers in cell culture. Results This study examined the influence of increasing concentrations of glucose, glutamine, ammonium chloride and different cell densities on the yield of FMDV. While an excess of glucose or glutamine does not affect the viral yield, increasing cell density reduces the viral titer by a log10 step at a cell density of 3 × 106 cells/mL. This can be mitigated by performing a 100% media exchange before infection of the cells. Conclusions The reasons for the diminished viral growth, if no complete media exchange has been performed prior to infection, remain unclear and further studies are necessary to investigate the causes more deeply. For now, the results argue for a vaccine production process with 100% media exchange to reliably obtain high viral titers.