Myxoma virus: Propagation, purification, quantification, and storage

Sherin E. Smallwood, Masmudur M. Rahman, Dorothy W. Smith, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Myxoma virus (MYXV) is a member of the Poxviridae family and prototype for the genus Leporipoxvirus. It is pathogenic only for European rabbits, in which it causes the lethal disease myxomatosis, and two North American species, in which it causes a less severe disease. MYXV replicates exclusively in the cytoplasm of the host cell. Although not infectious in humans, its genome encodes proteins that can interfere with or modulate host defense mechanisms; it is able to productively infect a number of human cancer cell lines, but not normal human cells, and has also been shown to increase survival time in mouse models of human glioma. These characteristics suggest that MYXV could be a viable therapeutic agent, e.g., in anti-inflammatory or anti-immune therapy, or as an oncolytic agent. MYXV is also an excellent model for poxvirus biology, pathogenesis, and host tropism studies. It is easily propagated in a number of cell lines, including adherent cells and suspension cultures, and minimal purification is required to provide a stock for in vivo and in vitro studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14A.1.1-14A.1.20
JournalCurrent Protocols in Microbiology
Issue numberSUPPL. 17
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Myxoma virus
  • Poxvirus
  • Sucrose gradient purification
  • Titration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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