Adult mice inoculated with Semliki Forest virus (SFV) were protected from a lethal infection of the central nervous system by intranasal administration of defective-interfering (DI) SFV. DI SFV was prepared by eight passages at high m.o.i. in BHK 21 cells. Mice were treated with unpurified, unconcentrated tissue culture fluid which had been u.v.-irradiated to inactivate the infective virus present. Prevention of death was maximal when the DI virus was administered simultaneously with the infecting inoculum, and under the same conditions multiplication of infective virus in the brains of treated mice was reduced by 10-fold. It was shown that DI SFV was propagated in mouse brains following intranasal inoculation and it was concluded that protection was brought about through the intrinsic interfering capacity of the DI virus.


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