We report data on the number of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) particles required to detect virus binding to target cells (Raji or BJA-B) by means of membrane immunofluorescence (MIF). After determining the optimum conditions for the MIF assay the following aspects of EBV—lymphoid cell interactions were examined: (i) binding of two different strains of EBV to various types of human lymphoid cell lines, (ii) expression of receptors for both EBV and complement on these lines and (iii) induction of EBV-induced nuclear antigen (EBNA) in the different target cells used. The results showed that a minimum of about 2.7 × 10 enveloped virus particles/cell were required for an optimum visualization of EBV binding to the target cells tested, and that a lymphoid cell may bear receptors for one prototype strain of EBV but not for the other. A number of cell lines, particularly those of T and null type which express EBV receptors, did not synthesize EBNA, thus indicating that these lines were resistant to EBV infection. Several of these lines, although expressing cell surface EBV receptors, lacked complement receptors.


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