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J Clin Virol. 2001 Aug;22(1):101-10.

R-Mix cells are faster, at least as sensitive and marginally more costly than conventional cell lines for the detection of respiratory viruses.

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Laboratory Medicine, Memorial Medical Center, 701 N First St., Springfield, IL 62781, USA.



To evaluate shell vials of R-Mix, a combination of mink lung cells and human adenocarcinoma cells (strains Mv1Lu and A549, respectively, Diagnostic Hybrids, Athens, OH) to detect respiratory viruses from prospective clinical respiratory specimens and frozen stocks.


We compared the performance of R-Mix to conventional culture (CC) using tubes of PMK, Hep-2, and MRC5 to detect respiratory viruses from fresh clinical specimens. For each respiratory specimen submitted to virology, two shell vials of R-Mix were inoculated and examined twice (generally after 24 and 48 h) by an indirect test with a pool of immunofluorescent antisera to influenza A and B, adenovirus, parainfluenza 1-3 and RSV (DAKO, Carpinteria, CA). If positive, testing with monoclonal antisera was done. CCs were incubated for 10 days, examined daily for cytopathological effect, hemadsorbed twice and stained if positive. Cost comparison was done. Lastly, respiratory viruses frozen from previous years were inoculated onto R-Mix.


R-Mix was positive for all 29 frozen virus stocks. In the clinical trial, 396 prospective specimens were inoculated into R-Mix and CC. R-Mix identified 21 specimens as respiratory virus positive; CC identified 19. Turn-around time of R-Mix for positive specimens was 1.4 days; for CC it was 5.2 days. Turn-around time of R-Mix for all specimens (positive and negative) was 2.0 days; for CC it was 9.8 days. The overall cost of R-Mix was approximately 11% more than that of CC.


R-Mix enabled rapid identification of all the frozen virus stocks representing the seven major respiratory viral groups. When compared to CC, R-Mix was slightly more sensitive than three cell lines (four tubes) used in CC but it was several days faster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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