In natural virus infections the precise role of the gastrointestinal tract either as the portal of entry or as the initial site of virus multiplication has not been established. It is generally considered, however, that it is an initial site of replication for many enterovirus members of the picornavirus group (Downie, 1963). Twenty years ago Enders and his colleagues demonstrated that the strain of the poliomyelitis virus multiplied in suspension cultures of human embryo intestine, thus recording the first multiplication of a virus in human embryo intestinal tissue (Enders, Weller & Robbins, 1949). Cells in organ cultures are similar in structure and function to that of the intact host and thus may provide a convenient experimental model for studying some aspects of the pathogenesis of certain virus infections. In addition, organ cultures have been used to isolate and study the properties, including the structure, of some viruses which cause acute respiratory infection and cannot be grown in monolayer cell cultures (Tyrrell & Bynoe, 1965).


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