Archiv für die gesamte Virusforschung

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Intratypic antigenic heterogeneity of Coxsackie B viruses

  • Reinhard Wigand
  • Albert B. Sabin


Neutralization tests, employing the cytopathogenic effect in tissue culture tubes, with a variety of homotypic antisera and strains of Coxsackie B viruses often yielded high titers in early readings and low titers in late readings — the “break-through” phenomenon — and occasionally also low, early-reading titers with heterologous, homotypic sera, which gave high titers with the homologous strains. Of 27 strains of Goxsackie B 1 to B 5, that were tested, 10 showed no break-through tendency while others showed varying degrees of break-through, without reference to any evidence of intratypic antigenic variation. There was a positive correlation between a small number of tissue culture passages away from man or mouse brain and the break-through tendency. Moreover, strains without break-through tendency yielded viral populations with marked break-through properties after a single intracerebral passage in newborn mice, and even after two subsequent tissue culture passages. Plaque-purified progeny exhibited the break-through phenomenon to the same extent as the original, unpurified cultures.

The early readings yielded reproducible titers, which could be used for analysis of antigenic variation. “Prime” antigenic variants, of broader antigenic constitution than their “non-prime” relatives, were found among the Coxsackie B 2, B 3, and B 4 strains that were tested. These “prime” strains (e. g., “B. V. A. 96”- B2; “Stevens” - B 3, and “Burrier” or “J. V. B.” - B 4) were found to be antigenically broader than the prototype strains (“Ohio 1” - B 2, “Nancy” - B 3, “Powers” or “Texas 13” - B 4) generally used for the preparation of diagnostic antisera. The broader antigenicity of the “prime” variant was also present in plaque-purified progeny.


High Titer Culture Tube Neutralization Test Antigenic Variation Viral Population 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard Wigand
    • 1
  • Albert B. Sabin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Children's Hospital Research FoundationUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiOhio

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