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J Virol. 2011 Nov;85(21):11139-45. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00169-11. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Antimycotic-antibiotic amphotericin B promotes influenza virus replication in cell culture.

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AVIR Green Hills Biotechnology AG, Forsthausgasse 11, 1200 Vienna, Austria.


In general, antibiotics are not rated as substances that inhibit or support influenza virus replication. We describe here the enhancing effect of the polyene antibiotic amphotericin B (AmB) on influenza virus growth in Vero cells. We show that isolation rates of influenza A and B viruses from clinical samples can be dramatically enhanced by adding AmB to the culture medium. We demonstrate that AmB promotes the viral uptake and endocytic processing of the virus particles. This effect is specific for Vero and human nasal epithelial cells and was not observed in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. The effect of AmB was subtype specific and more prominent for human seasonal influenza strains but absent for H5N1 human viruses. The AmB-enhancing effect seemed to be solely due to the viral hemagglutinin function. Our results indicate that the use of AmB may facilitate influenza virus isolation and production in Vero cells.

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