Several of the toxic properties of streptococcal mucopeptide have been studied in detail. Intravenous injection of as little as 1 µg of mucopeptide, solubilized by ultrasonic treatment, elicits a reproducible febrile response. Rabbits which are made tolerant to Escherichia coli endotoxin are only partially tolerant to the subsequent injection of streptococcal mucopeptide. Soluble mucopeptide was successfully employed to prepare and provoke the localized Shwartzman reaction.
Intravenous injection of 80 µg of solubilized mucopeptide leads to diffuse cellular infiltration as well as focal areas of myocardial necrosis, surrounded by inflammatory cells.