Four strains of C. gapperi virus were isolated from 3 Clethrionomys gapperi and 47 strains of Microtus virus from 15 Microtus pennsylvanicus and 1 Mus musculus. One of the Microtus strains was isolated from a pool of 20 mites while the others were from rodent tissues. These agents were insensitive to ether and sodium desoxycholate, withstood freezing at —70 C for 3 years and lyophilization without loss of titer, and were not killed when heated at 60 C for 1 hour. Their size as determined by filtration was less than 50 mμ and greater than 20–35 mμ. The strains within each group appear to be similar. The illness induced in suckling mice by the C. gapperi agents had a 5-day incubation period followed by prostration and death with a histologic picture of extensive encephalomalacia. The incubation period in mice for the Microtus agents was 9 to 11 days followed by convulsions and death. Histopathology showed meningeal infiltration and necrosis of the molecular layer. No antigenic similarity was detected between the C. gapperi and Microtus viruses by cross complement-fixation test.
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Vol. 6 • No. 1