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Primary isolation of avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) is carried out using tracheal organ culture (TOC) or chicken embryonated eggs with subsequent adaptation in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) or Vero cultures. This study was conducted to evaluate six different cell lines and two avian culture systems for the propagation of aMPV subtypes A and B. The chicken embryo related (CER) cells were used successfully for primary isolation. In addition to Vero and baby hamster kidney (BHK-21) cells, CER cells were also shown to be the most appropriate for propagation of aMPV considering high titres. Propagation of A and B subtypes in CEF and TOC remained efficient after the primary isolation and several passages of viruses in the CER cell line. The growth curves were created using CER, Vero and BHK-21 cell lines. Compared with growth, both yielded higher titres in CER cells during the first 30 h after infection, but no significant difference was observed in the results obtained from CER and Vero cells. This data show that CER cells are adequate for aMPV subtypes A and B propagation, giving similar results to Vero cells.
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