SUMMARY: Growth of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) agent in HeLa cells has been studied by light and electron microscopy. Infective elementary bodies enter the host by phagocytosis, transform directly into the larger forms known as initial dies, and multiply by fission within a vesicular cytoplasmic inclusion. Late in the growth cycle, elementary bodies are produced by a process involving internal condensation and a progressive reduction in size of the dividing initial bodies. An envelope with two layers, ribosome-like granules and filamentous ‘nuclear’ material are components common to all developmental forms of the LGV agent. Penicillin prevents multiplication of initial bodies, but not their growth; the very large and vacuolated penicillin forms are similar to bacterial spheroplasts. 5-Fluorouracil affects chiefly the later part of the LGV growth cycle; non-infective forms develop, and the maturation of elementary bodies is blocked. The findings endorse the view that the psitta sis-lymphogranuloma-trachoma group agents are not viruses, but have close affinities with rickettsiae and certain bacteria.


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