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Purification and infrastructure of Aleutian disease virus of mink


ALEUTIAN disease of mink is an immune complex disease induced by viral infection. Major abnormalities include glomerulonephritis, arteritis, plasmacytosis and hypergam-maglobulinaemia1,2. Infectious virus-antibody complexes have been found in the serum of infected mink3, and deposits of viral antigen, antibody and complement have been demonstrated in glomerular and arterial lesions4–6. Detailed sudy of Aleutian disease virus (ADV) has been hampered by an inability to isolate and purify it by conventional techniques, mainly because ADV obtained from mink tissue is complexed with specific antibody7. The immune complexes are not sufficiently homogeneous for purification by physical or chemical properties. Applying techniques that dissociate antigen–antibody complexes to crude preparations of ADV, Cho and Ingram purified viral antigenic material8,9. With the electron microscope they observed virus-like particles in both immune precipitates and viral antigen from CsCl gradients. Although the immune precipitates were infectious for mink, lack of quantitative infectivity data on the CsCl gradient fractions prevented identification of these particles as ADV. We have now succeeded in purifying similar virus particles and have identified them as ADV by quantitative inactivity titration.

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