Whats in Vaccines and wtf. is WI-38....
WI-38 is a diploid human cell culture line composed of fibroblasts derived from lung tissue of a three-month-old white (caucasian) female fetus. The cell line, isolated by Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead in the 1960s, has been used extensively in scientific research, with applications ranging from developing important theories in molecular biology to the production of many types of vaccines. . The contributions from this cell line on research has been credited with saving the lives of “millions of people”.
WI-38 was invaluable to early researchers, especially those studying virology and immunology, since it was a readily-available cell line of normal human tissue, unlike the HeLa line, which were cancerous cells. Researchers in labs across the globe have since used WI-38 in their discoveries, most notably in the development of vaccines. Over a billion vaccine doses worldwide can be traced to work done on WI-38, covering conditions including measles and rubella.
WI-38 cells are used to produce several vaccines including Adenovirus, MMR, Varicella and Zoster virus. Infected WI-38 cells secrete the virus, and can be cultured in large volumes suitable for commercial production.