An Overview

  • Harold S. Ginsberg
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)


The discoveries of adenoviruses by Rowe et al. (1953) and by Hilleman and Werner (1954) aroused great interest and excitement among clinicians and virologists alike in that no new etiological agent of acute viral respiratory disease of humans had been isolated since the identification of influenza virus 20 years earlier (Smith et al., 1933). During this interim period, extensive epidemiological studies had shown that acute viral respiratory infections are the most common cause of human disease and are responsible for a huge economic burden. Therefore, it is not surprising that the initial isolations of adenoviruses came from clinical stimuli. When Rowe et al. (1953) attempted to isolate “the common cold virus” using cultured, uninoculated control expiants of human tonsils and adenoids as the host cells, they noted that the cells growing from the explants frequently underwent cytopathic changes. The rounding and grapelike clustering of the affected cells were shown to be caused by a new virus. Almost simultaneously, Hilleman and Werner, investigating an epidemic of influenzalike illness in army recruits, isolated a previously unknown virus in cultured human tracheal cells.


Uninoculated Control Human Tonsil Unknown Virus Late mRNAs Army Recruit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold S. Ginsberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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