Partial or total removal of the envelope of influenza virus by enzymes or chemicals displayed an internal body, which is referred to as ‘virus core’. This is supposed to consist of the nucleocapsid and a ‘core membrane’ seen on the core surface in ultrathin sections as a single track about 30 Å thick. The virus membrane isolated by means of Nonidet P-40 revealed a typical triple track profile of 25 Å each track. ‘Cores’ limited by a single-track membrane were found only after treatment of fixed virus particles with snake venom. Other agents such as saponin, Nonidet or chloroform-methanol were efficient in removing the virus membrane, but, unfortunately, they damaged the fine structure of the ‘cores’.

Negative staining of virus particles treated overnight with proteolytic enzymes revealed a ‘helical skeleton’ of 35 Å thick fibres which may have been a part of the ‘core membrane’.


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