The procedure used in this laboratory for the purification of encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus has been described by Burness (1969). Contamination with host cell material was shown to be absent by the lack of radioactivity in purified virus when homogenates of uninfected host cells containing protein and nucleic acid labelled with [H]amino acids and P, respectively, were added to the crude virus before purification (Burness, 1969). Although several methods were employed to check the purity of the product, contamination with proteins unique to infected cells, such as non-structural virus proteins was not excluded. We describe here a procedure to investigate and virtually exclude such possible contamination, by using EMC virus variants separable from one another by calcium phosphate chromatography.

In the original description of the procedure it was suggested that ribosomes would be the most likely subcellular contaminants of picornavirus preparations since both kinds of particles have similar biophysical characteristics (Burness, 1969).


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