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Quantitative Aspects of the M Protein Capillary Precipitin Test

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A capillary procedure for quantitatively determining M protein is described. Capillaries were filled with measured amounts of serum and streptococcal extract. The capillaries were incubated, and then centrifuged to pack the precipitates. The relative sizes of the precipates were compared by a determination of the weights of their paper images (obtained by reflection from a microscope). Meaningful dilution curves were determined by this method. Variations of pH from 6 to 8 had little effect on the M protein precipitin test, and the test was not seriously affected by variations of the NaCl concentration from 0.85 to 4.67%. The addition of divalent ions (Ca++ and Mg++) did not influence the results. This test can be used to make quantitative comparisons of M protein preparations and to titrate type-specific antisera.

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