A comparison has been made of the efficiency of human embryo kidney (HEK) cills, HeLa cells, and WI38 cells for the isolation of viruses from the eyes of patients suffering from acute conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. From a total of 99 specimens 21 adenoviruses (serotypes 3, 4, 7, 8, and 13) were isolated in HEK cells, eight (serotypes 3 and 8) in HeLa cells, and four (serotype 3) in WI38 cells. Of the ten herpes simplex viruses isolated nine were recovered in HEK cells, seven in WI38 cells, and none in HeLa cells. The combination of HeLa cells and WI38 cells is not considered an adequate alternative to the difficult-to-obtain HEK cells for the isolation of viruses from the eye.
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