Suspensions of group A streptococci were subjected to mechanical disruption by shaking with glass beads. The supernatant solutions produced severe delayed inflammatory reactions on intradermal injection into normal rabbits. Intravenous injections caused systemic reactions characterized by fever, leucopenia, and peripheral vasomotor phenomena. These effects were more pronounced in rabbits which had previously been infected with group A streptococci.
The local and generalized Shwartzman phenomena were reproduced with these crude streptococcal lysates, and the data suggest that streptococci possess an endotoxin similar to those of Gram-negative bacterial species.