It has long been known that the binding of antibodies to viruses can result in a loss of infectivity, or neutralization, but little is understood of the mechanism or mechanisms of this process. This is probably because neutralization is a multifactorial phenomenon depending upon the nature of the virus itself, the particular antigenic site involved, the isotype of immunoglobulin and the ratio of virus to immunoglobulin (see below). Thus not only is it likely that neutralization of one virus will differ from another but that changing the circumstances of neutralization can change the mechanism itself. To give coherence to the topic we are concentrating this review on one virus, influenza type A which is itself well studied and reasonably well understood [1–3]. Reviews of the older literature can be found in references 4 to 7
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