Following infection with Coxsackie B4 virus, 2 inbred strains of mice, NZB/B1 with autoimmune hemolytic anemia and CBA/T6 without hematologic disorder, developed changes in peripheral blood and in bone marrow similar to those described in aplastic crisis in man. A marked decrease or complete disappearance of reticulocytes from the peripheral blood was associated with a decrease in the total number of red cell precursors in the bone marrow. Both findings were temporary; recovery was spontaneous. The hematologic findings were independent of both age and sex in the CBA/T6 animals. By contrast, in the NZB/B1 strain only females between the ages of 4-8 months developed hematologic abnormalities.

The etiologic relationship that has been established between Coxsackie B4 virus infection and aplastic crisis in the test mice suggests that viral agents may play an etiologic role in the pathogenesis of aplastic crisis in man.

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