J Virol Methods 2014 12 27;210:22-5. Epub 2014 Sep 27.
State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China. Electronic address:
Isolation of viruses using chick embryos is a classical virological method. Inoculation of the allantoic cavity and use of allantoic fluid is a common method of passaging isolated avian influenza viruses. In the present study, 2490 fresh fecal samples and 4967 old fecal samples were investigated and subjected to conventional passaging (allantoic fluid method). Two newly developed methods-the allantochorion and allantoic fluid mixed method and the chick embryo and allantoic fluid mixed method-were also examined. The rates of influenza virus isolation for these three methods were compared. There appeared to be little difference among these methods when fresh fecal samples were used. However, for the old fecal samples, isolation rates for influenza virus were significantly higher for the chick embryo and allantoic fluid mixed method compared with the conventional allantoic fluid method. All viruses isolated using the conventional allantoic fluid method were isolated successfully using the two newly developed methods. These results suggest that using chick embryos in conjunction with allantoic fluid is effective for early virus isolation, especially for fecal samples that are not fresh. Additionally, practical chick embryo passage methods are described that improve significantly the rate of isolation of influenza viruses from fecal samples of migratory birds in a complex wild ecological environment.