Ovine leukemia virus (OLV) could not be distinguished from bovine leukemia virus (BLV) morphologically. Both C-type RNA tumor virus-producing cells induced syncytia when cocultivated with several indicator cells including XC and KC cells. Syncytia formation could be blocked by antibodies against OLV and BLV, indicating that fusion was virus mediated. Furthermore, antibodies against OLV and BLV exhibited reciprocal syncytial blocking properties, suggesting that OLV and BLV were closely related viruses.

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This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB Virologie 47).

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