This volume, the fourth in the series, is a record of a conference held in October 1964 in New York under the auspices of the Gustav Stern Foundation to discuss the most significant recent developments in virology. This particular conference was dedicated to the consideration of “hidden viruses”; i.e., agents which are not primarily cytocidal and usually manifest phenomena of latency. A delightful introduction by T. Francis recounts personal and professional events in the life of Richard Shope to whom this conference was dedicated.
Subsequent chapters summarize studies on latent infections in insects, plants, and animals, with particular emphasis on experimental models which may aid in the understanding of mechanisms of latency. Much emphasis is placed on “defective viruses”, the genome of which is incomplete in some way; e.g., in the ability to direct synthesis of a protein coat. Such agents may require “helper” viruses such as seen among Rous sarcoma strains.