Characterization of the BHK-21 C5 cell line, and determination of cellular sensitivity to rubella virus compared to the routine cell RK13

Document Type: Original Articles


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Bio bank, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), P.O. Box 31975-148, Karaj, Iran


The World Health Organization has strict rules and recommendations on the selection and use of cell substrates in laboratories. Given the widespread use of safe and secure cell substrates in the production and quality control of viral vaccines and also the high demands for vaccines against viral diseases, making us obligated to select a suitable cell substrate for cultivation and production of biological products. Due to the valuable role of animal cell lines that have in the preparation and propagation of viral seeds, so in this study, the BHK-21 cell line was used among cell lines for viral checking. Hence, our aim of this study is to replace the BHK-21 C5 cell line with the RK13 cell line to investigate the cytopathic effects of the rubella virus. Therefore, we attempted to determine the characteristics of the BHK-21 C5 cell line including cell growth characteristics and sterility tests up to make sure from its safe and secure. After that by culturing the cells in a 96-well microplate, subsequently, titration of the rubella virus by preparing serial dilutions of the virus from 10-1 to 10-5 were performed and were inoculated to cell lines in order to the comparison the sensitivity of BHK-21 C5 and RK13 cell lines to rubella virus. Data analysis according to the results of the tests by ahead default p-value < 0/05 was equal to the P-value = 0.01 based on SPSS analysis with the Paired-sample T-Test. In addition, the box-plot diagram was indicated a significant difference between these cell lines. On the base of the results, the BHK-21 C5 cell line seems more sensitive to the rubella virus. So, the cell line can be used for vaccine production and quality control and research and diagnosis of rubella.