The PR8 strain of human influenza virus was found to proliferate and disseminate widely in the tissues of fetal guinea pigs inoculated in utero. Large quantities of virus free of bacteria were recovered from lung, liver, and placenta, and smaller quantities from blood and brain, after incubation periods ranging from 2 to 6 days. Although the fetuses proved to constitute an excellent medium for the propagation of influenza virus, they evinced little gross reaction to the infection.
Several series of passages from fetus to fetus were accomplished; one consisted of 10 transfers, another of 16. For serial passage the virus was inoculated intracerebrally into half-grown fetuses and the fetal lungs were harvested 48 hours later as a source of virus for subinoculation. It is concluded that multiplication of the virus occurred particularly in the lungs, which may be considered a significant reaffirmation of the pneumotropic tendencies of this virus.
Following passage in series the virus was found, on the basis of cross-immunity and cross-neutralization tests, to be immunologically identical with the mouse passage virus from which it was derived. Other properties also appeared to be unaltered by passage of the virus under these conditions.