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March 1962

Comparative Studies of Monkey and Human Measles-Virus Strains

Author Affiliations

Gisela Ruckle-Enders, M.D., Hygiene Institute, University of Marburg, Marburg-Lahn, Germany.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):297-307. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020309024

The presence of neutralizing antibodies against measles virus in healthy laboratory monkeys 1 and the frequent recovery of a measles-like agent (MINIA, monkey intranuclear inclusion agent) from trypsinized monkey kidney tissue2 raised the following questions. First, how closely are human and monkey measles-virus strains related? Second, has the virus isolated from monkey kidney tissue been derived by contact of the monkey with a human source, or does a simian variety exist which causes a measles-like infection, with or without disease? Third, would such strains derived from monkeys be of value in human vaccination? The answers to these questions require comparative studies of: (1) the biological, physiochemical, and antigenic properties of the 2 viruses; (2) their pathological and epidemiological behavior under natural and experimental conditions; (3) their ability to cross protect.

Biological and Physiochemical Properties  Earlier investigations 3 revealed that measles and MINIA viruses were similar in their tissue culture