SUMMARY: The effect of multiplicity of infection on the growth kinetics of poliovirus suggests that the eclipse period usual for singly infected cells (3·6–3·8 hr) includes variable delays averaging about 1 hr. These delays are overcome at multiplicities above 3, and are sometimes spontaneously absent. They are ascribed largely to chance effects, and lead to markedly asynchronous maturation of virus; in their absence, maturation is almost synchronous.

The kinetics of acid-irreversible eclipse and of the development of antiserum resistance show that about half of the delays must occur during viral penetration; in support of this, virus growth initiated with infective RNA is 0·5 hr less delayed than that of intact virus, although otherwise similar. However, infective RNA synthesis was not detected earlier than 2 hr after infection, even in the absence of chance delays.


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