The IgM and IgG response of mice to sheep erythrocytes (SRBC) and bluetongue virus (BTV) was determined by means of haemolytic plaque assays. Maximum primary IgM response to SRBC occurred after 4 days but declined rapidly to 4% of the maximum by Day 9. A lag period of about 2 days was observed in the appearance of IgG haemolytic plaque-forming cells (PFC) but they reached a maximum after 6-9 days. Secondary immunization resulted in the stimulation particularly of IgG PFC and from Day 6 onwards IgG predominated in the immunological response. The IgM response to BTV was remarkably similar to that observed when SRBC were used as antigen. IgG PFC, however, appeared within a day of the IgM, reaching a peak on Days 4-5. From then onwards, IgG PFC predominated in the response. At BTV concentrations of up to 10 µg per mouse, the virulent strain of BTV type 3 produced the weakest response. At higher antigen concentrations there was very little difference in the response to the serotypes tested, although the virulent strain of BTV type 4 tended to produce the strongest response.
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