Fractionation procedures yielding partially purified vaccine preparations from a 60°C. methanol extract of tubercle bacilli have been described. Some of the preparations have the characteristics of lipopolysaccharides. Certain ones have been found capable of increasing resistance to experimental tuberculosis in albino mice of the Rockefeller Swiss strain. The levels of resistance elicited by these preparations are equivalent to those following vaccination with BCG (Phipps) in this strain of mice as reported by other authors. The admixture of two of the crude fractions in amounts as small as 0.05 mg. each per dose per mouse affords an even greater increase in resistance. Neither of these substances alone in larger doses can approach this degree of efficacy in mouse protection experiments.
The protective activity appears to involve the stimulation of two supplementary mechanisms, one providing a peak resistance between 1 and 3 weeks post vaccination but falling off to a lower level thereafter, the other not responding fully until approximately 6 weeks but continuing undiminished through a 12 week post-vaccination period. The first of these peaks corresponds to an increase in resistance against staphylococci as well as tubercle bacilli. The possibility that the term "broad specificity," rather than "non-specificity," might best describe this phenomenon permits the implication of classical immune mechanisms.