Complement-dependent antibody lysis of vaccinia-infected cells was examined to demonstrate the antigenic differences between extracellular (ECV) and intracellular (ICV) forms of vaccinia virus. Cytolytic antibodies present in the antisera raised against ECV or live virus (LV) were completely removed by absorption with infected cell membranes or purified ECV but not with purified ICV. Absorption with infected cell membranes also abolished the neutralizing activity of ECV and LV antisera against ECV. On the other hand, antiserum against ICV did not contain cytolytic antibodies against vaccinia-infected cells, even though its neutralizing antibody titre against ICV was high. Moreover, both ECV and ICV anti-sera neutralized a small proportion of the heterologous form of virus, despite using purified preparations of ECV and ICV, respectively, for raising these antisera in rabbits. In contrast, the Cr release test only detected the antibodies against ECV and thus can be used to differentiate between the antibody activity of a serum against ECV and ICV.


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