The suppression of antibody formation by passively administered antibody is influenced by the dose and nature of the antigen, type of immunization procedure, ratio of antibody to antigen, species origin and characteristics of the antiserum used, as well as the species selected for immunization. In guinea pigs, diphtheria antitoxin formation can be effectively suppressed by an intravenous injection of excess homologous or heterologous antitoxin as long as 5 days after toxoid immunization and after delayed-type hypersensitivity to toxoid has developed. Following the period of antibody suppression which lasts 2 to 7 weeks, serum antibody can usually be demonstrated. It is proposed that this delayed immunization results from dissociation of antigen, since diphtheritic paralysis and death can be produced in guinea pigs and rabbits by the intravenous injection of toxin-antitoxin precipitates formed in antitoxin excess. This syndrome is prevented by injection of excess horse antitoxin 1 hour after injection of the toxin-antitoxin complexes.

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