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August 1969

Preparation and Testing of Duck Embryo Cell Culture Rubella Vaccine

Author Affiliations

West Point, Pa
From the Division of Virus and Cell Biology Research, Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research, West Point, Pa.

Am J Dis Child. 1969;118(2):347-354. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100040349033

THE SUCCESSFUL propagation in cell culture of rubella virus by Parkman et al1 and by Weller and Neva2 opened the way to development of a vaccine. A prime factor in acceptability of a live virus vaccine is the cell in which it is prepared, especially if the vaccine is given parenterally. Though rubella virus propagates readily in cell cultures of monkey, dog, rabbit, bovine, or human origin, our principal effort was given to finding an avian source. Having demonstrated that only limited propagation occurred in cell cultures of chick embryo, we directed our attention to domestic fowl with longer periods of gestation, and successful propagation was achieved on the first attempt made on April 8, 1963. Successful growth of the virus in duck cell culture was later confirmed by Fuccillo et al.3 The virus was rapidly attenuated for monkey and man in the Pekin duck embryo cell