A persistent infection of measles virus was established in HEp2 cells. All cells contained virus antigen when tested by specific immunofluorescence and approx. 50% were positive by haemadsorption. Infectious virus released into the supernatant medium was usually equivalent to no more than 0.001 p.f.u./cell, but between 10 and 40% of the infected cells produced plaques when plated on Vero cells.

Passage of persistently infected cultures in the presence of measles antibody had no effect on the proportion of antigen-positive cells.

Virus obtained from the supernatant medium of persistently infected cultures was temperature sensitive at 39.5 °C when tested on Vero cells whereas the original nonpersistent virus produced infections on Vero cells at 39.8 °C.

On passage of the persistently infected culture at 39.5 °C most of the surface antigens disappeared within 24 h whereas the intracellular virus antigens had not totally disappeared until the 5th passage.


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