Serotypes of human adenovirus have been classified by Huebner (1967) into three groups (A, B and C) based on their oncogenicity in hamsters. Rat cells transformed by viruses from both groups A and B have been reported to produce tumours in new-born rats (Freeman 1967). Some members of Huebner's non-oncogenic group C were subsequently shown to cause morphological transformation of primary rat embryo cells (Freeman 1967; McAllister 1969). Clones derived from these epithelioid foci are similar in their characteristics to transformed clones induced by adenovirus in groups A and B. The cells grow to high density in medium with low serum, produce colonies in agar and possess adenovirus specific tumour antigen (T-antigen). No tumours were produced when cells transformed by the group C adenoviruses were inoculated into syngeneic neonate rats and it has been suggested that group C adenoviruses induce strong transplantation antigens in the cells they transform (McAllister 1969).


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