The protective immunogenicity of a hybrid peptide containing tandem copies of types 5 and 24 epitopes was investigated. Carboxy-terminal peptides of the cyanogen bromide-derived fragment 7 (CB7) of type 24 M protein were chemically synthesized, and then extended to include the first 20 residues of the amino-terminus of type 5 M protein. When emulsified in CFA and injected into rabbits without conjugation to a carrier, each of the synthetic hybrid peptides, designated S-M5(1-20)-S-CB7(23-35)C and S-M5(1-20)-S-CB(19-34), evoked opsonic antibodies against both types 5 and 24 streptococci without raising heart tissue-crossreactive immunity. These results suggest that tandem hybrid peptides may provide a new approach to the development of multivalent vaccines, not only to different serotypes of group A streptococci but perhaps also to a variety of other infectious agents.

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