Comparison of cell cultures for rapid isolation of enteroviruses

T. Chonmaitree, C. Ford, C. Sanders, H. L. Lucia

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89 Scopus citations


Cell culture isolation is still the most reliable method for the detection of enteroviruses from clinical specimens. Rapid diagnosis of enterovirus infection affects patient management. To increase yield and enhance the rapidity of enterovirus isolation in cell cultures, we used Buffalo green monkey kidney (BGM) cells and subpassages of primary human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells in addition to the human diploid fibroblast (MRC-5) cells and primary cynomolgus or rhesus monkey kidney (MK) cells routinely used for enterovirus culturing. Growth characteristics of enteroviruses from 421 specimens were studied. All specimens were cultured in MRC-5, MK, and BGM cells, and 204 of these specimens were also cultured in HEK cells. Forty-two percent of the enteroviruses became positive within 3 days, and 85% did so within 7 days. MRC-5 cells provided the highest yield of enteroviruses overall and were the best cell type for the recovery of poliovirus and echovirus. MK cells provided the second best yield but were more useful than MRC-5 cells for coxsackievirus. BGM cells supported the growth of additional isolates of coxsackievirus and enhanced the speed of isolation. HEK cells supported the growth of additional isolates of both coxsackievirus and echovirus, but subculturing was always required for definite enterovirus cytopathic effects. The recovery rate increased 11% when two additional cell lines were used. The use of two tubes of MK cells significantly increased the yield of all enterovirus types. We conclude that the use of multiple appropriate cell lines increases yield and enhances the rapidity of enterovirus isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2576-2580
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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