Background: Traditionally, primary monkey kidney (PMK) epithelial cells have been one of the more widely used cell types for the isolation of enteroviruses from clinical samples. For the isolation of coxsackie A viruses, intraperitoneal inoculation of newborn mice has been used in some laboratories.
Objective: With the discontinued availability of PMK epithelial cells and the reported growth of coxsackie A viruses in rhabdomyosarcoma cells (RD), we compared the use of the latter cell line with our routinely used microwell cell cultures.
Study design: Microwell cell cultures of buffalo green monkey epithelial cell line (BGM), human lung carcinoma epithelial cell line (A549) and human embryonic lung (HEL) fibroblasts were compared with RD cell line for the isolation of enteroviruses from clinical samples.
Results: A total of 39 enteroviruses was isolated from 3517 specimens. The HEL fibroblasts yielded 28 (72%) enteroviruses, followed by A549 (25 isolates, 64%), BGM (23 isolates, 59%) and RD cells (18 isolates, 46%).
Conclusions: All isolates which grew in RD cells showed specific cytopathic effects in one or more of the other inoculated cell cultures. Quantitative determinations (TCID50) with five different enteroviruses showed that the HEL fibroblasts and RD cell line to be the most sensitive cell types, followed by BGM and A549 cell lines. However, integrity of the inoculated cell monolayers was best with HEL fibroblasts and A549 cells but morphology was not optimal with RD cells during the incubation period of 14 days.