The effects of the Skylab gas mixtures on general health and immunocompetence of mice and ferrets subjected to the Skylab space cabin environment (SCE) were initially studied in a stainless steel low pressure facility which was maintained at gas ratios of 30% nitrogen and 70% oxygen under 5 psia, and which consisted of two subchambers, that permitted mutual isolation of experimental groups and/or selective removal of animals without return of the entire cabin to ambient pressure was developed. The studies demonstrated that ferrets immunized with Brucella Strain 19 prior to being housed in SCE had decreased synthesis of IgG compared to their respective controls. The possibility of latent infections being responsible for stress-induced upper respiratory diseases of astronauts required that the role of neutralizing antibody as a function of antibody affinity/avidity be investigated. The model consisted of Aleutian disease virus (ADV) which infects ferrets and mink resulting in nonneutralized immune complexes. These studies demonstrated that early antibody to ADV had lower affinity/avidity than late antibody with respect to chronicity. These studies culminated in a description of antibody affinity, first isolation of ADV and its cultivation in vitro.