The results of neutralization tests with PVM and serum obtained from numerous animal species indicate that antibodies agaiust this virus were present in the blood of all mammalian species tested, as not in that of fowls, and that their incidence in various species was widely different. They indicate, also, that in certain species, particularly the cotton rat, there were marked seasonal variations in the incidence of such antibodies; in the late winter and spring the incidence was much higher than during the summer and fall seasons. Cotton rats and hamsters which did not possess neutralizing antibodies against PVM were susceptible to manifest pulmonary infection with this virus, irrespective of the effects of previous experiments upon them, whereas those which possessed such antibodies were immune. It is suggested that circulating antibodies against PVM were present as a result of preceding infection with a latent virus; either PVM or an agent closely related to it in antigenic composition.
Appropriate non-specific stimuli, e.g. the intranasal injection of suspensions of normal chick embryos, induced the development of neutralizing antibodies against PVM with significantly greater frequency in each of three species than occurred in control animals. Materials derived from patients with primary atypical pneumonia yielded results almost identical to those obtained with normal chick embryo suspensions. It is suggested that such materials, like the other non-specific stimuli employed, were effective in evoking a specific antibody response, because they unbalanced an equilibrium which previously existed between animal host and latent pneumotropic virus.