Letter | Published:

Viropexis, the Mechanism of Influenza Virus Infection

Nature volume 162, pages 294295 (21 August 1948) | Download Citation



CELLULAR receptors capable of reacting with influenza viruses (such as those on erythrocytes, and the cells lining the respiratory tract of the mouse or the allantoic cavity of the chick embryo), when treated with appropriate amounts of periodate, still adsorb virus ; but spontaneous elution does not occur nor can artificial liberation be induced by the ‘receptor-destroying enzyme' of V. choleræ, an agent known to remove bound virus from normal receptors. On the basis of a detailed study, it was concluded that the substrate for the receptor-destroying enzymes of the virus or vibrio is altered by periodate ions without significant change in the adsorptive capacity of the receptor area, so that the contact of such treated cells with virus results in an irreversible receptor-virus combination1. In further experiments it was shown by four independent methods, both in mice and developing chick embryos, that despite ‘modification' by periodate, infection takes place through such receptors ; obviously, these conditions do not allow of any enzymatic action of the virus on the receptor substance2. The uptake of the particle adsorbed to the exoplasm of the future host cell is believed to be a process essentially similar to the phenomenon of colloidopexis.

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    , Aust. J. Exp. Biol., (in the press).

  2. 2.

    , and , Aust. J. Exp. Biol. (in the press).

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    , J. Exp. Med., 87, 301 (1948).

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    , J. Exp. Med., 76, 195 (1942).

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    , J. Path. Bact., 38, 285 (1934).

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  1. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, N.2. June 27.



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