Human mononuclear cells (lymphocytes and monocytes) from peripheral blood were examined for their ability to support the replication of rubella virus (RV) after infection . Replication was shown to occur in mixed lymphocytes and to be enhanced by stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin or pokeweed mitogen. A comparison of RV polypeptide synthesis in lymphocytes and RK13 cells showed no major differences in the polypeptides induced by infection. However, cellular translation was inhibited in the lymphocytes facilitating identification of virus polypeptides and eliminating the need for hypertonic labelling conditions used with RK13 cells. RV replication was also shown to occur in sub-populations of T-cells but not in B-cells. However, RV could be rescued from the B and monocyte population by co-cultivation with RK13 cells.


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