The classification of herpesviruses into two groups has been proposed (Melnick 1964) based upon the tendency of the virus either to retain infectivity following liberation from host cells (Group A) or to remain intimately associated with host cells (Group B). In the case of primate herpesviruses, Group A strains include such viruses as herpes simplex of man and herpes-B and SA8 of monkeys, while Group B strains include cytomegalovirus of man and monkeys and varicella-zoster virus of man.

The preparation of immune sera in non-primates with neutralizing activity against human or simian Group A herpesviruses can be achieved readily, whereas the preparation of similar sera against Group B strains had proven difficult (Weller & Rowe, 1964). Immune sera have been prepared in sub-human primates which show neutralizing activity and fluorescent antibody activity against human cytomegalovirus and varicella-zoster virus respectively (Plummer & Benyesh-Melnick, 1964; Schmidt 1965; Graham, Minamishima & Benyesh-Melnick, 1969), and immune sera with complement-fixing and fluorescent antibody activity against varicella-zoster virus have been prepared in guinea-pigs (Kissling, Casey & Palmer, 1968).


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