The U937 monocytic cell line was used to determine whether antibodies could facilitate infection and replication of the arenaviruses, Pichinde virus (PV) and Lassa fever virus (LFV). When high dilutions of PV-immune serum were added to cultures simultaneously with PV inoculum, virus replication was dramatically (1000-fold) increased. Low dilutions of this antiserum neutralized the virus. LFV also replicated in U937 cells. The presence of LFV-specific immune serum in the growth medium increased the viral titre as much as 10000-fold. Addition of heat-aggregated IgG partially inhibited antibody-mediated enhancement, probably by inhibiting the binding of immune complexes to the monocytic cells.

Keyword(s): arenavirus , LFV and PV

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