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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 Sep;36(3):480-6.

Comparative sensitivity of various cell culture systems for isolation of viruses from wastewater and fecal samples.


In efforts to define the most sensitive cell culture systems for recovery of viruses from wastewaters, 181 samples were inoculated in parallel into tube cultures of various cell types and were plaqued in bottle and petri dish cultures of three types of monkey kidney cells. Polioviruses were recovered most frequently in the RD line of human rhabdomyosarcoma cells, group A coxsackieviruses in RD and human fetal diploid kidney (HFDK) cells, group B coxsackieviruses in the BGM line of African green monkey kidney cells, echoviruses in RD and primary rhesus monkey kidney (RhMK) cells, and reoviruses in RhMK cells. BGM cells were unsatisfactory for recovery of viruses other than polioviruses and group B coxsackieviruses, and a line of fetal rhesus monkey kidney (MFK) was not a satisfactory substitute for primary RhMK. With RhMK cells, comparable numbers of virus isolations were made in tube cultures and in plaque assays conducted in bottle cultures, but with BGM and MFK cells, fewer isolations were made by plaquing than by inoculation of tube cultures. In comparative plaque assays on fecal samples under three different overlays in bottle and plate cultures of RhMK, BGM, and MFK cells, it was found that plaquing in the most sensitive system, RhMK, was less efficient for virus recovery than was inoculation of tube cultures of RhMK or HFDK cells. Overall, plaque assays performed in petri dishes in a CO(2) incubator yielded fewer virus isolates than did parallel plaque assays performed in closed bottle cultures. Other limitations of plaque assays for recovery of human enteric viruses are discussed.

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