Research Article

Postexposure immunoprophylaxis against B virus (Herpesvirus simiae) infection.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 05 December 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1495
  1. E A Boulter,
  2. H T Zwartouw,
  3. B Thornton


    Local infiltration of antiserum into sites inoculated with B virus protected rabbits from an otherwise fatal encephalomyelitis. Treatment was effective when delayed for six hours but not after 24 hours. Homologous rabbit antisera were more effective than heterologous monkey antisera, and protection was unrelated to neutralisation titres. Protection apparently depended not on neutralisation of inoculated virus but on destruction of infected cells before they produced progeny virus. Normal human immunoglobulin able to neutralise B virus did not protect. Intravenously administered antibody was effective only if large doses were given. The findings suggest that persons bitten or scratched by monkeys latently infected with B virus may be treated successfully by immunoprophylaxis with specific antibody. Stocks of human or of more readily available simian antisera should be held in laboratories where such animals are used.