The streptococcal cell wall mucopeptide when injected into mice either intraperitoneally or intravenously enhances the resitance to subsequent challenge with virulent Group A streptococci. Rabbits which are injected intravenously with solubilized mucopeptide develop a fever response which has a resemblance to that achieved with endotoxin.
Mice which survive 6 to 7 weeks after challenge with virulent Group A streptococci yield at autopsy search Group A streptococci serologically identical to the challenge organisms. A preparative dose of cell walls injected into mice prior to challenge diminished this late recovery of streptococci.
Group A-variant streptococci were recovered from mice which survived challenge and carried the organisms for several weeks. Filterable bacterial forms, which grew on L form media, were recovered from infected mice. The serologic type of the L forms was identical to that of the challenge organisms.