The in vitro cultivation of strains of human influenza virus has been successfully conducted through a prolonged series of successive transfers. The cultivated virus has retained the antigenic and immunological properties which characterized the animal passage virus from which it was derived. The culture virus is still virulent for mice and ferrets; it is capable of inducing an active state of immunity in animals vaccinated subcutaneously or intraperitoneally; it elicits specific neutralizing antibodies in the serum of infected or vaccinated animals.
The virus has been successfully cultivated to date only in the presence of oxygen; when conditions of reduced oxygenation are imposed by the use of vaseline seal, with or without the addition of cystein, multiplication of the virus is not supported. On the other hand, it has been possible to cultivate the virus in the medium of Li and Rivers in ordinary test tubes. This affords a greatly simplified procedure, since the interval between transfers may be prolonged.
The results of neutralization tests with various sera and the culture virus are presented and discussed.