Influenza A virus infection of primary differentiated airway epithelial cell cultures derived from Syrian golden hamsters

Celeste M. Newby, Regina K. Rowe, Andrew Pekosz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ability of several different influenza A virus strains to infect and replicate in primary, differentiated airway epithelial cell cultures from Syrian golden hamsters was investigated. All virus strains tested replicated equivalently in the cultures and displayed a preference for infecting nonciliated cells. This tropism correlated with the expression of both α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acid on the nonciliated cells. In contrast, the ciliated cells did not have detectable α2,6-linked sialic acid and expressed only low amounts of α2,3-linked sialic acid. In contrast to clinical isolates, laboratory strains of influenza A virus infected a limited number of ciliated cells at late times post-infection. The presence of α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acid residues on the same cell type suggests that Syrian golden hamsters and differentiated airway epithelial cell cultures derived from hamsters may provide a system for studying the reassortment of influenza A virus strains which utilize different forms of sialic acid as a primary virus receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-90
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2006



  • Airway epithelium
  • Ciliated cells
  • Clara cells
  • Goblet cell
  • Influenza
  • Respiratory epithelial cells
  • Sialic acid
  • Virus receptors
  • Virus tropism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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