Ribonucleic acid extracted with phenol from Type 1 poliovirus, Coxsackie A-9, Coxsackie B-1, and ECHO 8 viruses infected non-primate cells and animals insusceptible to whole virus as such. Viral RNA was proved infectious for insusceptible cells in test systems of established cell lines, primary monolayer cultures, Maitland type cultures, and living animals inoculated intracerebrally. Cells of rabbit, swine, mouse, guinea pig, chicken, and hamster were infected. Each virus produced was identical with the virus donating RNA, in (a) neutralization by homotypic antiserum, (b) resistance to ribonuclease treatment, and (c) failure to be adsorbed or replicated by nonprimate cells, even of the strain producing the virus from RNA. Produced virus was adsorbed and replicated by susceptible primate cells as usual. Virus in RNA-infected cell cultures was produced in a single cycle unaccompanied by overt cytopathic effect on non-primate cells or disease of intracerebrally inoculated animals.
By drastic elution of infective poliovirus associated with rabbit cells exposed to massive inocula of intact virus, intact poliovirus was shown to infect insusceptible non-primate cells to produce progeny indistinguishable from the parent virus population. Under these conditions, infection was accomplished by about 10 virus plaque-forming units per billion inoculated.