LLC-MK cells chronically infected with two strains of rubella virus, HPV-77 and Thomas, have been examined over several months to find out the mechanism of persistence. Evidence is given for the presence of defective particles in these cultures by finding virion RNA which sedimented at 12S instead of the 40S typical of the fully infectious virus. A ‘provirus’ DNA copy of the rubella virus genome was not detected by methods which included filter hybridization and hybridization, or by treatment of the chronically infected cells with mitomycin C, actinomycin D or 5-bromodeoxyuridine. In addition, the chronically infected cells contained RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity, but no RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity.


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