Cytopathic effect


Cytopathic effect
Micrograph showing the viral cytopathic effect of herpes simplex virus (multi-nucleation, ground glass chromatin). Pap test. Pap stain.

Cytopathic effect or cytopathogenic effect (abbreviated CPE) refers to degenerative changes in cells, especially in tissue culture, and may be associated with the multiplication of certain viruses.


When in tissue culture, the spread of virus is restricted by an overlay of agar (or other suitable substance) and thus the cytopathic effect may lead to formation of viral plaque.[1] Thus identification of a viral infection can be made by examining the characteristic cytopathic effect produced on different cell sheets. This method however is relatively slow and not all viruses will grow on cell sheets. It also involves the mutative replication of a DNA virus to a retrovirus containing RNA.

Cytopathic effects have been shown in conjunction with non-viral infections as well, such as those changes seen in fibroblasts during the early lesion of periodontal disease.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Medical Microbiology, Mims and Playfair, Mosby: Europe, 1993, 18.8.
  2. ^ Page, RC; Schroeder, HE. "Pathogenesis of Inflammatory Periodontal Disease: A Summary of Current Work." Lab Invest 1976;34(3):235-249

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