Volume 14, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The transovarian passage of hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies to St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus was studied in 18 naturally infected hens and 51 of their chicks. HI antibody was readily detected in the 24-hour-old chick in quantitative relationship to maternal antibody titers. The loss of this inhibitor was an exponential function of time, and was below detectable levels at the 4th week.

Serum-neutralizing antibody studies on the hens indicated the SLE-HI inhibitor was specific antibody. In contrast, the Eastern encephalitis-HI inhibitor appeared to be a non-specific substance related to the ovulatory activity of the bird.

The interpretation of SLE-HI antibodies in chicks under 4 weeks of age requires consideration of the presence of maternal antibody as a contributing cause.


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