A study has been made of the yield of virus and of the complement-binding antigen from the virus-induced papillomas of cottontail and domestic rabbits. Extracts of the discrete, naturally occurring papillomas of cottontail rabbits usually contain virus in large amount; and, as a rule, they also contain the complement-binding antigen in high titer. The confluent growths produced experimentally with the virus in some cottontails, on the other hand, often fail to yield the virus, or furnish it in small amount; and extracts of them have little if any complement-binding capacity. The sera of cottontails with massive papillomas from which the virus cannot be recovered often have high antibody titers.
Many extracts were tested of the virus-induced papillomas of domestic rabbits. None contained the virus in large amount, and the majority of them failed to manifest it on sensitive test. A few fixed complement in low titer when mixed with immune sera, but most failed to do so. Crude extracts of the "non-infectious," virus-induced papillomas of domestic rabbits stimulated the formation of virus-neutralizing and complement-binding antibodies in low titer when injected intraperitoneally into normal rabbits of the same breed, but Berkefeld filtrates of the same materials proved devoid of this immunizing effect.
The significance of the findings described in the three papers is discussed. The evidence as a whole favors the view that the virus stimulates the formation of the virus-neutralizing and complement-binding antibodies in vivo, and many facts indicate that it is closely associated, and in all probability identical, with the antigen that reacts with immune serum to fix complement in vitro.