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Rhinovirus Cytopathic Effects (CPE) Send Print

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Created: Tuesday, 01 January 2002
Last update: Wednesday, 25 August 2010
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Rhinovirus (Enlarged view)

This image shows human diploid fibroblasts infected with Rhinovirus (100X).

Rhinoviruses, a major cause of the common cold, are picorna viruses. While other picorna viruses tend to infect the intestinal tract (so-called enteroviruses), Rhinoviruses replicate in the nose.

A complete Rhinovirus contains single-stranded, plus-stranded RNA surrounded by a nonenveloped icosahedral capsid.

Rhinoviruses only grow in cells of human or monkey origin. The cytopathic effect (CPE) is best observed in human diploid fibroblasts. Both large and small rounded, refractile cells are observed in areas that also contain cellular debris. The CPE can be observed after 24 – 48 hours and progresses over a 2 to 3 day period. The cellular changes observed depend on the serotype and inoculum dose used.

Reference: Murray, Patrick R., Baron, Ellen Jo, Pfaller, Michael A., Tenover, Fred C., Yolken, Robert H., Manual of Clinical Microbiology 6th edition (ASM Press, Washington D.C. 1995) pp. 940-942

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