Rapid Shell Vial Culture Technique for Detection of Enteroviruses and Adenoviruses in Fecal Specimens: Comparison with Conventional Virus Isolation Method


American Society for Microbiology


Detection of enteroviruses and adenoviruses mainly in fecal specimens by rapid culture with inoculation onto cell monolayers in flat-bottom tubes by centrifugation and immunofluorescence staining with genus-specific monoclonal antibodies was compared with that by the conventional virus isolation procedure. For both conventional culture and shell vial culture human lung fibroblast cells and tertiary monkey kidney cells were used. For enterovirus detection, 979 clinical specimens (916 stool specimens, 56 cerebrospinal fluid specimens, and 7 nasopharyngeal swabs) were used. Conventional culture detected 74 enterovirus isolates. A cytopathic effect compatible with the presence of an enterovirus after 3 days of incubation occurred in 25 of the 74 (34%) specimens that eventually became positive. The detection rate for enteroviruses by rapid cell culture after 2 to 3 days of incubation was 42 of 74 (57%). The genus-specific enterovirus monoclonal antibody did not react with strains of echovirus types 22 and 23 or enterovirus type 71. Rapid cell culture for the detection of adenoviruses was performed with 567 clinical specimens (536 stool specimens, 25 cerebrospinal fluid specimens, and 6 miscellaneous specimens), in which 42 adenoviruses were found by conventional culture. Nine of the 42 (21%) adenovirus isolates were detected by conventional culture within 3 days after inoculation, whereas 21 (50%) were found by rapid cell culture within 2 to 3 days. Only two of the nine specimens found to be positive for the enteric adenovirus type 41 by conventional culture as well by a type-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tested positive by rapid cell culture. In conclusion, the rapid shell vial assay allows the early detection and identification of enteroviruses and adenoviruses in clinical specimens but is markedly less sensitive than the conventional isolation procedure according to the eventual results of the conventional isolation procedure. Conventional cell culture remains a prerequisite for serotyping of enteroviral isolates. On the basis of the results for adenovirus type 41, the rapid detection of adenoviruses was not considered to be useful for the detection of clinically relevant adenoviruses in fecal samples.

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