Influenza virus infection in mice may be either stimulated or partially prevented by certain gangliosides, depending on the experimental conditions employed. When injected prior to virus infection gangliosides increased the mortality rate, whereas preincubation with the virus before infection had a protecting effect. Hybrid mice resistant to influenza virus became highly susceptible to infection after injection of a specific ganglioside whereas the corresponding antiganglioside antiserum protected virus-susceptible mice against infection by the virus. These results are discussed in the light of earlier findings that various gangliosides enhance non-specific binding of influenza virus, whereas gangliosides of the G and G type are able to act as specific virus receptors and to promote virus penetration.


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