Idiotypic cross-reactions among antibodies to Group C streptococcal carbohydrate were studied using idiotypic antisera prepared in allotypically matched rabbits. Antibodies with idiotypic cross-specificity to one proband antibody were detected in 58% of the antisera from related rabbits, while approximately 1% of nonrelated rabbits produced antibody with this specificity. The cross-specificity was related to the group a (VH) allotype of 133 rabbits tested with only one exception.

Studies utilizing antisera against a second proband antibody failed to detect antibodies with idiotypic cross-reactivity among the same group of related rabbits. This result emphasizes the variation in expression of idiotypic determinants of antibodies.

It was further shown that the presence of anti-IgG's in the streptococcal antisera interfere with the detection of idiotypic cross-reactions. These anti-IgG's masked the presence of antibodies with idiotypic cross-specificity when inhibition of precipitation tests were used for their detection.

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