A procedure is described for kinetic studies on the multiplication of Lee virus in the chorioallantoic membrane in vitro employing the hemagglutination technique for measurement of virus concentration. A linear relationship was found between the logarithm of virus adsorbed and the amount of membrane used. Of the virus adsorbed less than 10 per cent could be recovered from the membrane. Of the recoverable virus 90 per cent was eliminated by specific immune serum. Lee virus was adsorbed by the allantoic and chorionic layers of the membrane to a similar degree. Multiplication occurred in both layers and to a similar extent. When 107.66 EID50 of Lee virus was inoculated per 2.9 cm.2 of chorioallantoic membrane, the ratio of infectivity to hemagglutination titer in the yield was low, although the rate of appearance of virus particles was not diminished despite the large inocula.
Virus produced in membranes was liberated rapidly and continually into the medium. 5,6-Dichloro-1-ß-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB), 0.000055 M, prolonged the latent period by more than 100 per cent. The rate of increase during the period of rapid rise was similar in the presence or absence of DRB, but the yield was markedly reduced at the end of this period in the presence of DRB. The amount of the virus in the membranes continued to rise in the presence of DRB and eventually approached the maximal levels reached much earlier in the controls. Measurement of the amount of virus in the media indicated a greater degree of inhibition than did measurement in the membranes. Comparative studies with two benzimidazole derivatives on the dependence of the inhibitory effect on the time of addition of the compound showed that processes which could be inhibited by DRB were of shorter duration than those inhibited by 2,5-dimethylbenzimidazole (MB). With MB the relationship between the time of addition and the inhibitory effect was similar both for virus and for soluble complement-fixing antigen; with DRB the inhibitable processes were of shorter duration for the complement-fixing antigen than for virus particles. DRB was not only 35 times more active on a molar basis but also was more selective in its action than MB. DRB interfered with processes which preceded the emergence of either soluble complement-fixing antigen or virus particles. Some of the implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the mechanism of inhibition of influenza virus multiplication by benzimidazole derivatives.