Murine mammary tumour virus (Bittner virus) is generally detected and titrated by tests. The time required for these tests varies from about 4 months to more than 1 year according to the clinical criteria accepted (Nandi, 1963). Recently Charney, Pullinger & Moore (1968) reduced this time to about 3 months by inoculation of newborn female mice and the detection of Bittner virus antigens in the milk of young adults by immunodiffusion tests. The immunological technique alone does not discriminate between infective and non-infective Bittner virus antigens. A faster assay would speed up the research of many aspects of the virus, including those at the cellular and molecular levels. Biological effects of Bittner virus preparations have been described, but an assay does not yet exist.


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