Rabbit sera were found to possess neutralizing activity (normal antibody) to polioviruses and Coxsackie B viruses. This normal antibody showed high specificity in cross-neutralization and absorption tests. It was associated with heat-stable, mercaptan-sensitive, 19S γ1-ß-macroglobulins, which formed weak complexes with the viral antigen. In rare instances, sera with normal macroglobulin antibody, also contained very low activity which was due to 7S γ2-globulins. The neutralization of poliovirus by normal 19S γ1-ß-antibody appeared to follow first order kinetics, and the thermodynamic parameters of this reaction were the same as those of serological reactions employing immune antibody.
The electrophoretic mobility, sedimentation properties, sensitivity to mercaptan, thermostability, and avidity of normal and early (up to day 3) immune antibodies to poliovirus were similar, but differed in several respects from those of late immune antibodies. Thus, the available evidence suggested, that earlier reported differences between normal and immune antibodies reflected differences between antibodies of diverse physicochemical properties rather than between normal and immune antibodies per se.
It is proposed that the normal macroglobulin antibody is associated with an immunological response to repeated stimulation with minute amounts of antigen.