A new virus has been isolated by inoculation of lung tissues of diseased snakes into snake embryos. Homogenates of infected embryo tissues caused c.p.e. in cell cultures incubated at 30 °C. The virus replicates in a wide variety of reptilian or mammalian cell types incubated at 30 °C, inducing either syncytium formation or minimal or no cytopathic changes. Efficient replication occurs in embryonated hens' eggs at 27 to 30 °C. The virus haemagglutinates guinea pig and chick erythrocytes; it possesses a neuraminidase similar to the receptor-destroying enzyme of . Electron microscopic observations of infected cells examined in thin section revealed pleomorphic viruses 146 to 321 nm in diam. resembling known myxoviruses. Internal nucleocapsid strands are 15 to 16 nm in diam.; nucleocapsid observed in negatively stained preparations measures 14 nm in diam. The virus was determined to possess a nucleoprotein core containing a 50S single-stranded unsegmented RNA genome. All characters of the virus are similar to those of the paramyxovirus group except that the nucleocapsid diam. is intermediate between that of paramyxoviruses and pneumoviruses. The virus is antigenically distinct from known myxoviruses and is unique among myxoviruses in its restriction to growth at temperature below 37 °C.


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