SUMMARY: Five A strains and three B strains of influenza virus were purified and found to contain ribonucleic acid in amounts varying from 0·75 to 1·1 %. The proportion of the purine and pyrimidine derivatives in the nucleic acid of each strain was determined. When the ratio adenine + uracil: guanine + cytosine was evaluated, the following values were obtained: A strains —PR8, 1·27± 0·02; MEL, 1·22 ± 0·01; WSE, 1·26 ± 0·01; SWINE, 1·24 ± 0·04; CAM, 1·28 ± 0·01. B strains—LEE, 1·42 ± 0·04; MIL, 17·43 ± 0·05; ROB, 1·38 ± 0·01. The nucleic acid content of PR8 virus preparations of varying degrees of incompleteness was determined both by specific absorption at 260 mμ. and by estimation of phosphorus present in the nucleic acid extract. As measured by both methods, virus preparations of low infectivity were found to have a decreased nucleic acid content. The demonstration of specific differences in the nucleic acid of A and B strains and of the relationship between the infectivity and nucleic acid content of the virus affords strong evidence that the nucleic acid is an intrinsic part of the influenza virus particle.


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