Cultures of dog kidney cells were infected with canine distemper virus at an input multiplicity of 1.9 and the subsequent events followed by electron microscopy, conventional staining methods and virus titration. Maturation and release of virus commenced within 24 hr of infection and was a slow but prolonged process, the infected cell producing small amounts of virus for at least 48 hr. After formation in cytoplasmic foci, often perinuclear, the virus nucleocapsid migrated to the cell membrane, below which it adopted a symmetrical configuration, the cell membrane at the same time acquiring a layer of fine surface projections. Maturation of virus then occurred by a protrusion and pinching off of these areas. Cytoplasmic aggregates of nucleocapsid were not detected by light microscopy. The characteristic phloxinophilic cytoplasmic inclusions, which appeared between 24 and 48 hr after infection, did not stain with acridine orange. Some consisted of a mass of amorphous electron-dense material and others of nucleocapsid-like filaments enmeshed in an electron-dense matrix but all contained a number of pockets in which membrane-bound vacuoles and tubules were prominent.


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