Photoinactivation of vaccinia virus was complete but slower with rose bengal than with methylene blue as the sensitizing dye. Photoinactivation was inhibited and changes in dye absorption spectra occurred when protein but not when nucleic acid was added to rose bengal + virus mixtures; with methylene blue + virus mixtures nucleic aid but not protein was inhibitory. Photoinactivation with methylene blue did not alter the amino acid content of the virus, but with rose bengal, there was a substantial decrease in the histidine content. Antigenicity of the virus decreased more rapidly on exposure to light with rose bengal than with methylene blue as the sensitizer. Despite the apparently greater affinity of rose bengal for protein and of methylene blue for nucleic acid, no specific action on these components of the virus was demonstrated in cross-reactivation tests.


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