The failure of type 1 herpesvirus to form plaques in chick embryo cells distinguishes the type 1 virus from the type 2 virus. Herpesvirus type 2 forms plaques in these cells at titres equal to those obtained in rabbit kidney cells, while most type 1 strains fail to form plaques in chick embryo cells (Figueroa & Rawls, 1969). However, most type 1 virus isolates contain a small proportion of virus which does form plaques in chick embryo cells, and this proportion increases with passage of the isolates in tissue culture. The type 1 variants capable of forming plaques in chick embryo cells retain the biological and antigenic characteristics of the parental type 1 virus, but acquire a relative resistance to the DNA inhibitor ara-A (Lowry, Melnick & Rawls, 1970). The present study was undertaken to characterize the type 1 abortive infection in chick embryo cells.


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