A radioimmunoassay developed to measure antibody against antigen 7 in man was applied to the nine-banded armadillo Normal armadillo sera had low but significant antibody activity in the test. Fourteen of 17 armadillos with systemic myco-bacterial infection after inoculation with showed increased antibody activity in the assay, and in some instances the activity was higher than in a pool of sera from patients with lepromatous leprosy. Crossed immunoelectro-phoresis with armadillo serum in the intermediate gel revealed antibodies against five distinct antigenic components of Development of systemic mycobacterial infection after inoculation with is thus associated with a distinct humoral immune response. The use of radioimmunoassay for selection of animals for inoculation and for following the development of the infection is discussed.


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