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Secondary and Apparent Primary Antibody Responses After Group A Streptococcal Vaccination of 21 Children

  • Benedict F. Massell
  • J. Gabriel Michael
  • Jacqueline Amezcua
  • Myron Siner
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1968
  • Biology


A partially purified M protein, extracted from a mouse-virulent strain of type 3, group A streptococcus, was administered subcutaneously in gradually increasing amounts at weekly intervals to 21 children in a Family Program. Seven children with type 3 bactericidal antibody in prevaccination sera showed a secondary response. Of 14 children with no detectable type 3 bactericidal antibody prior to vaccination, 13 developed definite type 3 antibody during or soon after vaccination. This response appeared to be of the primary variety in at least some of the 13 children because (i) the total incidence of antibody response (20 of 21) was greater than can be accounted for by the documented incidence of clinical and subclinical type 3 infections among children of our Family Program during a period of 14 years, (ii) the response in the 13 children with no detectable antibody prior to vaccination was more delayed than in those showing a definite secondary response, and (iii) on the average, the amount of vaccine needed for a response in these 13 children was 15 to 28 times greater than that required for the secondary response. Local skin reactions were variable among the vaccinated children. Systemic reactions were infrequent and not severe. The giving of multiple injections of partially purified M protein did not seem to cause cutaneous hypersensitivity.


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