Thirteen men wintering on an Antarctic base were isolated from other human contact for 10 months. During this period Coxsackievirus A21 and later influenza A2 virus were administered to some of the men. Serum samples were collected from each of the men at monthly intervals.
Coxsackievirus A21 produced symptoms and apparently spread to uninoculated men. It also appears that repeated re-infections occurred and that the virus persisted in this small community for most of the period of isolation. HI antibody responses in the absence of neutralizing antibody responses seem to be transient.
The vaccine strain of influenza virus induced antibody responses but did not cause symptoms. There was no evidence of spread to uninoculated men.
Antibody titres against influenza C, parainfluenzaviruses 1 and 2 and coronavirus OC43 did not fall significantly during isolation.
An outbreak of respiratory illness occurred at the end of isolation and its origin was traced. No causative agent was detected.