Ascorbic acid undergoing auto-oxidation inactivated vaccinia virus. Copper ion was shown to have a catalytic effect on the inactivation. Neither unoxidized ascorbic acid nor its oxidation product, dehydroascorbic acid, were inhibitory. When ascorbic acid was oxidized at high pH in the absence of copper ion no inactivation took place. Similarly, enzymic oxidation of ascorbic acid in the absence of copper was without effect on the virus. Catalase prevented inactivation but not the oxidation of ascorbic acid. Glutathione prevented both inactivation and the oxidation of ascorbic acid. Inhibition experiments with ascorbic acid under anaerobic conditions were inconclusive. The mechanism of ascorbic acid inactivation is discussed in the light of these data and that of other authors with different viruses.


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