Requirements for guinea pig cytomegalovirus tropism and antibody neutralization on placental amniotic sac cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is a leading cause of birth defects. The guinea pig is the only small cCMV animal model. Guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) encodes similar glycoprotein complexes to human CMV (HCMV) including gB and the gH-based pentamer complex (PC). In HCMV, both gB and PC are neutralizing antibody antigens. The relevance of GPCMV PC for virus tropism and vaccine target remains controversial. A novel guinea pig placental amniotic sac epithelial (GPASE) cell-line did not express viral cell receptor platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) and resulted in requirement for the PC for GPCMV infection unless PDGFRA was ectopically expressed. High titer anti-gB sera from a GPCMV gB vaccine study was evaluated for GPCMV neutralizing capability on GPASE cells in comparison to convalescent sera from GPCMV(PC+) or GPCMV(PC-) infected animals. Anti-gB sera neutralized fibroblast infection but was less effective compared to anti-GPCMV(PC-), which had antibodies to gH/gL. However, both anti-GPCMV(PC-) and anti-gB sera similarly had reduced neutralizing capability on GPASE and renal epithelial cells in comparison to anti-GPCMV(PC+) sera, which had additional antibodies to PC. Overall, results demonstrate the importance of the PC for GPCMV tropism to various cell types that lack PDGFRA expression and the limited ability of anti-gB sera to neutralize GPCMV on non-fibroblast cells despite the essential nature of gB glycoprotein.

published proceedings

  • J Gen Virol

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, K. Y., El-Hamdi, N. S., & McGregor, A

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Choi, K Yeon||El-Hamdi, Nadia S||McGregor, Alistair

publication date

  • April 2020