The mechanisms involved in the interaction of complement components with sensitized equine arteritis virus (EAV) were investigated. Virus neutralization and virolysis depended on both the concentration of the complement components and the concentration of the sensitizing antibody. High concentrations of C4, 2 and 3, with an optimal concentration of C1, were sufficient for neutralizing virus infectivity in the presence of excess antibody. The addition of the remaining five components (C5 to C9) of the complement system induced lysis of the previously neutralized virus particle. Lysis was initiated by C8 and was augmented by C9. Components C5 to C9 did not enhance neutralization produced by excess antibody and limiting concentrations of complement components. In contrast, addition of components C5 to C9 enhanced neutralization by means of lysis of the virus particle under conditions of low antibody concentration.


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