The interaction of feline leukaemia viruses (FeLV) with erythrocytes was investigated. Haemadsorption (HAd) was observed on the surface of feline embryonic fibroblast cells infected with FeLV. HAd was detected in various degrees when cat, hamster or horse erythrocytes were incubated with cells infected with viruses of subgroup C (FeLV-C) and on cells infected with some FeLV subgroup A viruses (FeLV-A), but not on cells infected with FeLV subgroup B viruses (FeLV-B). HAd of sheep erythrocytes was detected on cells infected with some FeLV-C viruses. The HAd of hamster erythrocytes on cells infected with FeLV-C/Sarma virus was inhibited by antisera against gp70 or p15(E) but not by sera to the other FeLV structural polypeptides. HAd inhibition was also exhibited by cat sera which had FeLV-neutralizing activity but not by sera of specific pathogen-free cats. Haemagglutination by FeLV-C viruses was demonstrated after the virus was treated with neuraminidase and phospholipase C, or Tween-80 and ether. Contrary to expectations from the pattern observed by HAd, all FeLV-A viruses had similar haemagglutinin (HA) activity to FeLV-C viruses. FeLV-B viruses did not possess an HA.


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