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Microbiol Immunol. 1980;24(7):585-93.

Role of humoral antibodies in resistance to Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in hamsters.


Golden Syrian hamsters adoptively immunized with hyperimmune Mycoplasma pneumoniae rabbit antiserum, immunoglobulin (Ig) M-rich (IgM) fraction, IgG-rich (IgG) fraction, antiserum absorbed with either killed M. pneumoniae or killed Staphylococcus aureus organisms, or antiserum treated with 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) were examined for resistance against aerosol infection with virulent M. pneumoniae. Significant resistance to the establishment of infection in the respiratory tract was shown in hamsters pretreated with the untreated antiserum, IgG fraction or 2-ME-treated antiserum, whereas animals pretreated with the IgM fraction and the antisera absorbed with M. pneumoniae or S. aureus organisms were not significantly resistant. Histopathologically, lung lesions were markedly suppressed in animals with high resistance, but were typically pneumonic in animals with low or no resistance. The efficacy of adoptively administered serum preparations was closely related to their antibody titers. The results indicate that humoral antibody plays an important role in protection against experimental M. pneumoniae pneumonia in hamsters, although the participation of the cell-mediated immune response was not determined.

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