Measles virus (MV) has a tropism restricted to humans and primates and uses the human CD46 molecule as a cellular receptor. MV has been adapted to grow in chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) and gave rise to an attenuated live vaccine. Hallé and Schwarz MV strains were compared in their ability to infect both simian Vero cells and CEF. Whereas both strains infected Vero cells, only the CEF-adapted Schwarz strain was able to efficiently infect CEF. Since the expression of the human MV receptor CD46 rendered the chicken embryonic cell line TCF more permissive to the infection by the Hallé MV strain, the MV entry into CEF appeared to be a limiting step in the absence of prior MV adaptation. CEF lacked reactivity with anti-CD46 antibodies but were found to express another protein allowing MV binding as an alternative receptor to CD46
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