Protection against group B meningococcal infection was examined using the chick embryo. 12-day-old embryos were challenged intravenously with various meningococcal strains. The chick embryo has an active reticuloendothelial system but lacks functional complement. In this model we found that protection against group B infection was primarily group specific. The group B polysaccharide antibody is an effective opsonin, but is a very poor bactericidal antibody. In contrast, the serotype antibody was bactericidal but only slightly protective in the chick embryo where protection is primarily phagocytic in nature. The group-specific and type-specific antibodies are strongly synergistic. Minute amounts of group B polysaccharide antibody caused a very significant increase in the protective effects of the serotype antibody.

This content is only available as a PDF.