Infectious tissue culture fluids of the majority of serotypes of adenovirus at low dilutions detach HeLa or KB cells from glass surfaces within a few hours after inoculation. A reproducible method for testing cell detachment was devised.
The factor present in infectious tissue culture fluids and responsible for cell detachment is trypsin-sensitive and non-dialyzable; it is smaller and more resistant to the effect of heat or ultraviolet light than the infectious virus particle.
Cell detachment activity was found to be temperature-dependent, and the cell-detaching titer of infectious tissue culture fluids was not affected by repeated exposure to HeLa cells. Inhibition of cell detachment by human or rabbit sera was observed only when other antibodies to adenovirus antigens were also present, but the antibody inhibiting cell detachment could not be correlated quantitatively with complement-fixing or homologous neutralizing antibody.