While passaging a recently isolated strain of poliomyelitis virus through a rhesus monkey, another virus was procured from its central nervous system. After intracerebral inoculation, the virus produced meningoencephalitis in monkeys, cotton rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits; after intracutaneous inoculation a necrotic skin lesion was produced in the monkey and rabbit and this was often followed by myelitis. The virus could also be passed in newborn mice less than 48 hours old and in chick embryos by inoculation of the chorioallantoic membrane.
Immunological and host range studies revealed this virus to be related to the B virus originally described by Sabin and Wright in 1934 (1).
To our knowledge this is the first record of B virus having been isolated from a monkey, and lends support to the inclusion of this agent as the simian member of the herpes group.
The infection is not uncommon in monkey stocks, as revealed by the finding of antibodies to the virus in their sera. In the present series 9 of 44 monkeys gave positive antibody tests.
Gamma globulin prepared in the United States in 1945, 1951, and 1953, as well as a certain proportion of sera from normal individuals in Bombay, India, and elsewhere, showed neutralizing activity against the new strain of B virus, and also to herpes simplex virus. This may be the result of the partial crossing which exists between the two viruses.