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Virology. 2003 Mar 1;307(1):90-7.

Distinct host range of influenza H3N2 virus isolates in Vero and MDCK cells is determined by cell specific glycosylation pattern.

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Institute of Applied Microbiology, University for Agricultural Sciences, Muthgasse 18B, A-1190 Vienna, Austria.


Influenza A viruses were isolated in Vero, MDCK cells and chicken embryos. In contrast to MDCK-derived variants all H3N2 isolates obtained in Vero cells neither agglutinated chicken erythrocytes nor grew in chicken eggs. These host range differences of H3N2 Vero and MDCK isolates were noticed even in the absence of amino acid substitutions in the HA1 molecule. Evaluation of HA glycosylation pattern by treatment with endoglycosidases H and F revealed that Vero-variants contained more oligosaccharides of the high mannose type than did the corresponding MDCK-isolates. Removal of some mannose residues from the non-reducing termini of the carbohydrates by exomannosidase treatment resulted in the ability of Vero-isolates to agglutinate chicken erythrocytes. Glycosylation pattern and properties of H3N2 viruses grown in Vero cells were close to those of viruses grown in human kidney epithelial cells, whereas the H1N1 variants isolated from Vero, MDCK cells or eggs did not differ in agglutination properties, carbohydrate composition or ability to infect eggs.

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