Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Aniigen 60(A60). a member of the thermostable macromolcular antigen family (TMA) and main component of old tuberculin and purified protein derivative (PPD), has been purified from the cytoplasm of Mycohacterium bovis BCG; its structure and metabolism have already been described. In the present paper, the action of A60 on humoral immunity has been analysed by an ELISA type immunoassay, and that on cellular immunity by the mouse footpad swelling test. Injection of very low A60 doses into unprimed mice produced an undetectable level of anti-A60 antibodies; the effect or a booster inoculation was not appreciable in the absence of incomplete Freund's adjuvant, but was evident when the latter was added. Higher doses of the antigen produced an appreciable primary response, and a sharp and long-lasting secondary response, which had a 10-fold higher intensity in the presence of incomplete adjuvant. No detectable delayed hypersensitivity reactions were observed in unprimed mice after footpad injeciion of A60, whereas clear responses were elicited in primed mice. This effect was more pronouneed when the footpad was injected after a secondary response than after a primary response, and it was invariably magnified by incomplete adjuvant. It Is concluded Ihat A60 is a powerful immunogen. which is able to induce primary and secondary responses;md delayed hypersensitivity reactions, effects that are adjuvant-modulated and develop concurrently.
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