A substance was demonstrated in erythrocytes which antagonized the inhibiting effect of apple pectin on influenza virus hemagglutination. This substance was purified and found to be a water-soluble material, rather labile, and with some properties which suggested that it contained a polysaccharide. It was destroyed in vitro by highly purified preparations of the virus. It occurred in greatest amount in human erythrocytes and to a lesser extent in the red cells of species not susceptible to the virus. It was also found in normal rabbit serum.
Calcium ions were found to be essential to the action of apple pectin in causing inhibition of virus hemagglutination. A second substance was purified from an alkaline extract of erythrocytes, and shown likewise to have an effect antagonistic to that of pectin. However, this latter material was not destroyed by the virus, and seemed to owe its effect to the binding of calcium ions.