Discovery and Classification of Adenoviruses
Harold S. Ginsberg
In 1953, Wallace Rowe was then a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health with Robert Huebner; they were working, with their colleagues, to isolate the “virus of the common cold.” Toward this goal, Dr. Rowe was using explants of adenoids and tonsils grown in cell culture. He noted, in some cultures of adenoid cells, that they had rounded and clumped (note that the cells did not lyse, and that adenoviruses do not produce a “lytic” infection either in vitro or in vivo). Being a very smart young virologist, he decided to determine whether this cytopathic effect was due to a viral infection of the cells. He readily showed that he could serially pass the causative agent and that it was undoubedly a virus that had been latent in the adenoid cells.