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MERS Coronavirus Particles found in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum in an infected MRC-5 cell

MRC-5 (Medical Research Council cell strain 5) is a diploid human cell culture line composed of fibroblasts derived from lung tissue of a 14 week old aborted caucasian male fetus.[1][2] The cell line was isolated by J.P. Jacobs and colleagues in September 1966 from the 7th population doubling of the original strain, and MRC-5 cells themselves are known to reach senescence in around 45 population doublings.[2][3][4]


MRC-5 cells were used to produce several vaccines including MMR, Varicella and Polio in years past. Infected MRC-5 cells cannot secrete the virus, but be cultured in large volumes suitable for commercial production.


  1. ^ "MRC-5 (ATCC® CCL-171™)". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  2. ^ a b "AG05965-D Fibroblast from Skin, Lung". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  3. ^ Jacobs, J. P.; Jones, C. M.; Baille, J. P. (1970). "Characteristics of a Human Diploid Cell Designated MRC-5". Nature. 227 (5254): 168–70. doi:10.1038/227168a0. PMID 4316953.
  4. ^ Jacobs, J. P. (1976). "The Status of Human Diploid Cell Strain MRC-5 as an Approved Substrate for the Production of Viral Vaccines". Journal of Biological Standardization. 4 (2): 97–99. doi:10.1016/0092-1157(76)90018-4.

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