New facts regarding the mechanism of virus infections of the respiratory epithelium have resulted from studies of virus hemagglutinins recently reported by Hirst1 of the International Health Division, Rockefeller Foundation. Two years ago Hirst noted that influenza virus grown in the allantoic fluid of chick embryos would agglutinate adult fowl erythrocytes. This hemagglutinin could be used as a reliable quantitative index of the mouse infectious titer of influenza virus and for the titration of anti-influenza serums. The observation was promptly confirmed by other investigators,2 who reported evidence that the influenza virus is actually adsorbed on fowl erythrocytes, from which it can be partially or wholly recovered by elution.
Quantitative studies of the rate and completeness of this virus adsorption yielded surprising results. For example, Hirst found that addition of the Lee strain of influenza B virus to a 1.5 per cent suspension of chicken erythrocytes caused the titer
INFLUENZA RECEPTOLYSIN. JAMA. 1943;123(5):288–289. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840400036009
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