Polyoma virus induces high levels of interferon in non-permissive chick embryo fibroblast cultures, and certain features of this induction have been examined. In non-pre-treated cultures interferon first appears at around 30 h after infection and reaches maximum levels at around 70 h. An input multiplicity of at least 0.5 p.f.u./cell is required for induction. In cultures pre-treated with interferon (primed), interferon induction is enhanced, with interferon first appearing in the medium at around 20 h and reaching 4- to 8-fold higher levels than in non-primed cultures. In this case interferon is induced by an input multiplicity of as low as 0.1 p.f.u./cell. ‘Full’ or intact polyoma particles induce, but ‘empty’ shells do not. Interferon can also be induced by polyoma on continuously passaged lines of chick embryo fibroblasts.


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