An cell line was found contaminated with structures morphologically compatible with an alphavirus. Rapid isolation of a cytopathic virus was effected by combining sonication, concentration with Aquacide II, rate zonal sedimentation and subsequent plating of fractions on Vero cells under agar overlay. The virus caused neither death nor disease on inoculation into infant and adult mice. It produced a c.p.e. in Vero and BHK 21 cells, and multiplied in Singh's cells. The virus was identified serologically as chikungunya by complement-fixation and plaque reduction neutralization test. Virus was not detected in a single attempt by these methods in the American Type Culture Collection line. The presence of chikungunya virus in cells is not easily recognized and may complicate interpretation of experimental results.


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