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J Clin Virol. 2006 Nov;37(3):151-5. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Comparison of multiple shell vial cell lines for isolation of enteroviruses: a national perspective.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 50 N. Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, United States.



Isolation of enterovirus in cell culture is still utilized by clinical laboratories, for vaccine research, and for identifying serotypes for disease surveillance. Use of a combination of cell lines is recommended yet this practice has not been rigorously examined for shell vials.


To evaluate the growth predilection of enterovirus serotypes for certain shell vial cell lines in clinical samples received at a national reference laboratory.


We retrospectively reviewed results of samples submitted for viral culture over a 3-year period. PMK, BGM, RD, A549, and MRC-5 cell lines grown in shell vials were inoculated and serotyped.


Of 55,816 cultures, 1047 (1.9%) yielded enterovirus representing 18 serotypes. Echovirus 7, echovirus 9, and echovirus 30 were the most common serotypes recovered in 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively. PMK and MRC-5 recovered the majority of enterovirus isolates; the addition of BGM and RD cells increased our recovery rate by 13%. For 52.6% of enteroviral isolates, cytopathic effect was found in only a single cell line. PMK and BGM cells were effective in isolating coxsackieviruses, and RD and MRC-5 were useful particularly in isolating echoviruses.


A combination of shell vial cell lines is still recommended for recovery of enteroviruses.

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