An infectious agent is described which belongs apparently to the class of filtrable viruses, but which, on the basis of the evidence at hand, is not to be identified with any virus previously described.
The virus has multiple tropisms and is pathogenic for mice, ferrets, and monkeys of both M. rhesus and M. cynomolgos species. Intranasal infection of mice and ferrets causes extensive pneumonic lesions of fatal severity. Intracerebral inoculation of the virus produces in monkeys a lymphocytic choriomeningitis from which the animal recovers, while in mice a rapidly fatal choriomeningitis is produced. Fatal paralysis occurs in a moderate proportion of mice which receive the virus by intraperitoneal or subcutaneous routes, while the remainder become immune to the intracerebral test but not to the intranasal test. Subcutaneous inoculation of mice, monkeys, ferrets, rabbits, and guinea pigs causes local granulomatous induration of the skin with enlargement of the regional lymph nodes.
The virus was repeatedly recovered in 1936 from ferrets inoculated with throat washings of patients suffering from an epidemic disease clinically indistinguishable from epidemic influenza. It is impossible, however, to conclude whether the virus is of ferret or human origin.
Although possessing many features in common with the virus of lymphocytic choriomeningitis and the virus of lymphogranuloma inguinale, cross immunity tests have failed to yield any evidence that the new agent is immunologically related to either of the aforementioned viruses.
For purposes of identification the name virus of acute meningopneumonitis is suggested.