MONKEY KIDNEY CELLS

(VERO CELLS)

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: monkey kidney cells come from African Green monkeys. They are known to contain SV40 (simian virus 40) which is a monkey virus that grows in monkey tissue (particularly kidneys). In two separate studies, there were reports of SV40 in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma tumors. It is used in polio and rotavirus vaccines. The Vero epithelial cell line was established in 1962 by Y. Yasumura and Y. Kawakita at the Chiba University in Chiba, Japan. The tissue from which the line was derived was obtained from the kidney of a healthy adult African green monkey.

HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: widely used in transfections and vaccine production, Vero cells are also often utilized in the detection of verotoxins, a group of interrelated toxins produced by some strains of Escherichia coli that are a key cause of hemorrhagic colitic and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans.

The array of viruses that Vero cells are susceptible to is broad and includes polioviruses, simian virus 5 (SV5), simian virus 40 (SV40), rubeola, rubellavirus, reoviruses, simian adenoviruses, Getah, Ndumu, Pixuna, Ross River, Semliki Forest, Paramaribo, Kokobera, Modoc, Murutucu, Germiston, Guaroa, Pongola, and Tacaribe. The Vero cell line is negative, however, for reverse transcriptase and is resistant to Stratford, Apeu, Caraparu, Madrid, Nepuyo, and Ossa viruses.

The polyomavirus simian virus 40 (SV40) is a known oncogenic DNA virus which induces primary brain and bone cancers, malignant mesothelioma, and lymphomas in laboratory animals. Persuasive evidence now indicates that SV40 is causing infections in humans today and represents an emerging pathogen.

A meta-analysis of molecular, pathological, and clinical data from 1,793 cancer patients indicates that there is a significant excess risk of SV40 associated with human primary brain cancers, primary bone cancers, malignant mesothelioma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING VACCINES: POLIO (IPV-IPOL), ROTAVIRUS (ROTATEQ), DTAP + IPV (KINRIX), DTAP + HEP B + IPV (PEDIARIX)