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How to isolate viruses in a lab

Watch this demonstration of how to isolate bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria) from a soil sample.

Viruses are acellular microbes. If you want to culture them in the lab you need to provide them with host cells in which to replicate. Viruses are usually only able to replicate in one or a few species of host organism. When they infect multicellular organisms like humans, they usually only infect a few types of cell. There are many different types of immortalised cell lines available to virologists who study viruses that infect animals including humans.

In this video, my colleague Jordan demonstrates how to isolate bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria) from the soil sample used in Step 2.5. Sinead then demonstrates the basic techniques used when culturing a low bio-safety hazard virus.

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Small and Mighty: Introduction to Microbiology

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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