A sensitive line of HeLa cells was found to be better than two lines of diploid human embryo-lung (HEL) cells, WI-38 and MRC-5, for the isolation of several serotypes of rhinovirus from experimentally-infected volunteers. Comparative infectivity titrations of three rhinoviruses which were either un-adapted or only partly adapted to tissue culture confirmed the greater sensitivity of the HeLa cells. The substitution of foetal calf serum for non-foetal bovine serum in the tissue culture medium slightly enhanced the sensitivity of the HEL cells to rhino viruses but had no such effect on HeLa cells; HeLa cells nevertheless remained more sensitive than HEL cells. The line of HeLa cells studied merits more general use for the isolation of rhino viruses from clinical specimens.


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