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Mechanism of Recovery from Viral Infection in the Chick Embryo

Naturevolume 191pages9798 (1961) | Download Citation



THE chick embryo lacks many of the mechanisms which are thought to be required for recovery from viral infections. Production of antibody and delayed hypersensitivity (as measured by ability to reject foreign tissue) do not occur in the chick embryo of any age1,2, whereas the interferon mechanism begins to function in the embryo at about eight days and increases thereafter3. If interferon plays a major part in recovery from viral infection4,5, then a correlation would be expected between the lethality of viral infections and absence of the interferon mechanism in young embryos. Decreasing mortality with increasing age of embryos has been reported with a number of viruses6,7. However, the cells of these variously aged embryos yield equal amounts of virus3,8. The present work was undertaken to determing whether the appearance of the interferon mechanism during development of the chick embryo is parallel to increased ability to recover from viral infection.

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    Trnka, Z., and Riha, I., Nature, 183, 546 (1959).

  2. 2

    Simonsen, M., Acta Path. Microbiol. Scand., 40, 480 (1957).

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    Isaacs, A., and Baron, S., Lancet, ii, 946 (1960).

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    Isaacs, A., and Hitchcock, G., Lancet, ii, 69 (1960).

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    Hitchcock, G., and Isaacs, A., Brit. Med. J., ii, 1268 (1960).

  6. 6

    Beveridge, W. I. B., and Burnet, F. M., The Cultivation of Viruses and Rickettsiae in the Chick Embryo (H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1946).

  7. 7

    Fox, J. P., and Laemmert, jun., H. W., Amer. J. Hyg., 46, 21 (1947).

  8. 8

    White, D. O., Virology, 9, 680 (1959).

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    Hitchcock, G., and Porterfield, J. S., Virology, 13, 363 (1961).

  10. 10

    Friedman, R. M., and Baron, S., J. Immunol. (in the press).

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  1. SAMUEL BARON: United States Public Health Service.


  1. National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, N.W.7



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