Methods are described for the preparation and authentication of a highly specific antiserum against herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) capsid antigens. The antiserum was used in immunofluorescence tests to follow the development of capsid antigens in HVS-infected owl monkey kidney cells throughout the virus replication cycle in parallel with sequential titrations of virus infectivity in both cells and medium. Fluorescence was detected as a round or oval, bright green area of staining at the centre of the nucleus which was similar in outline to the Cowdry type A inclusion seen in HVS-infected cells stained by haematoxylin and eosin. The first detection of fluorescence towards the end of the eclipse phase of the virus growth cycle, and its abolition by the treatment of infected cultures with cytosine arabinoside confirmed the identity of HVS capsid antigens as late antigens. The failure to detect fluorescence in the cytoplasm of HVS-infected cells has brought to light a conflict between the site of accumulation of virus capsid antigens as determined by immunofluorescence and the finding, by electron microscopy, of cytoplasmic immature particles in intact cells during the early stages of the virus replication cycle. The significance of this discrepancy is discussed in relation to its possible existence for other members of the herpesvirus group.


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