Vaccination with living attenuated tubercle bacilli (BCG) was found to increase the resistance of mice to infection with virulent staphylococci.
An even more striking protective effect could be elicited by intraperitoneal or subcutaneous injection of small amounts (0.1 mg. or more) of killed BCG cells.
The killed BCG cells retained most of their protective activity after prolonged heating at acid, neutral, or basic reactions—and after extraction with acetone, methanol, and NaOH (at pH 10.5). Some protective activity could be recovered in a fraction soluble in methanol at 55°C.
The protective effect against infection manifested itself in a prolongation of survival time following infection, and also in the fact that smaller numbers of staphylococci were recovered from the organs of infected mice. Both types of effects were still evident 10 weeks after vaccination.
Injection by the intraperitoneal route of killed cells of BCG, or of methanol extracts of them, elicited in mice a high level of protection against intravenous injection of Myco. fortuitum.
A protective effect quantitatively and qualitatively similar to that elicited by BCG, resulted from the intraperitoneal or subcutaneous injection of killed cells of Myco. fortuitum.