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Medical News
May 4, 1964

Mollusks Yield Antiviral Substance, NIH Scientists Report

JAMA. 1964;188(5):38. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060310100050

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Anontoxic antiviral substance has been extracted from the abalone, the oyster, the clam, the sea snail, the queen conch, and the squid by investigators at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Benjamin Prescott, PhD, reported to the 48th annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Chicago, April 13-17, that "these substances seem to be normal constituents of water or acetic acid extracts of all the mollusk species thus far studied." Working with him are Chen Pien Li, MD, Elmer C. Martin, and George Caldes.

He said that the present investgation was triggered by an observation made in 1960 by Li that mice fed with the canned juice of the abalone showed a "remarkable" resistance to experimental poliomyelitis. The mortality rate of the treated mice was 20 to 50% lower than that observed in the controls. "Especially remarkable was the fact that the observed

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