Influenza virus particles possess two well-known virus-coded surface antigens: the haemagglutinin and the neuraminidase. Both seem to have essential functions in the growth cycle of the virus, haemagglutinin being responsible for the initial union of virus with the cell and neuraminidase being involved in the release of virus progeny from the host cell. Antibodies against purified haemagglutinin neutralize the virus, whereas antineuraminidase antibodies fail to do so (Webster & Laver, 1967). The existence of infectious virus-antibody complexes is now well documented for a variety of viruses (see Majer & Link, 1970). Most of the complexes represent sensitized virus, i.e. can be neutralized by homologous antiglobulin. In this communication we shall present results obtained with antibodies against whole influenza virus particles and with antibodies directed against their subunits.

Hyperimmune rabbit sera against the haemagglutinin of the virus Ao/Bel/1943 and against the neuraminidase of the virus A2/Singapore/1/57 as well as the corresponding virus strains were kindly supplied by Dr Schild, London (Schild, McCahon & Kendal, 1970). The antihaemagglutinin serum was reported to have a haemagglutination inhibition titre of 128,000 and the antineuraminidase serum an enzyme inhibition titre of 3500.


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