Recent results obtained in our laboratory demonstrate unequivocally that the selection of influenza viruses to grow in primary chick kidney cells (PCKC) at suboptimal temperature (25 °C) is a practical means for obtaining attenuated viruses for use as vaccine. The derived ‘cold variants’ of types A and B influenza virus were shown to be attenuated for animals and man (Maassab, 1969; Maassab 1969; Beare 1971). More recently a ‘cold variant’ of respiratory syncytial virus was selected to grow at 25 °C in a diploid cell line (WI-38) with characteristics comparable to cold variants of influenza viruses (H. F. Maassab, in preparation). This study was initiated in order to apply similar methods to the selection of a DNA virus such as herpes simplex virus to grow at suboptimal temperature (25 °C) in PCKC.


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