Monkeys and mice surviving cerebral infection with yellow fever virus of relatively avirulent strains have been found to resist maximal intracerebral doses of yellow fever virus of a highly neurotropic strain. Such animals, however, do not resist more than very small doses of intracerebrally inoculated virus of Eastern equine encephalomyelitis.
Animals immunized by extraneural routes, on the other hand, are not uniformly resistant to neural infection with neurotropic yellow fever virus. Monkeys which have undergone systemic infection with virus of the avirulent 17D strain or of several jungle strains resist only small intracerebral doses of neurotropic virus; while mice, even when possessed of very high serum-antibody levels as the result of intraperitoneal hyperimmunization, manifest only an irregular resistance to intracerebral challenge inocula.
The difference in the resistance of neurally and extraneurally immunized animals is not related to similar differences in the levels of protective antibody in the sera. Indeed, the average of the serum-antibody titers of the hyperimmune mice is several times that of the intracerebral immunes.
A possibly significant relation does exist, however, between the resistance of mice to neural infection and the content of protective antibody in the brain. The protective activity of suspensions of brains from mice surviving cerebral infection was found to be several times that of brain suspensions from the hyperimmunized animals.
It is concluded that the superior resistance to neural infection of animals whose immunity results from a previous non-fatal infection of the nervous system is effected by a specific local mechanism which is based at least in part upon an increased concentration of antibody in the cerebral tissue.