An attempt was made to protect rhesus monkeys from dental caries by immunisation with and lipoteichoic acid (LTA). The vaccine composed of gave significant protection against caries, a decrease in the number of , an increase in IgG antibodies and a moderate increase in complement-fixing antibodies to LTA. When LTA was used as immunogen, there was only a small reduction in caries, without any detectable antibodies to LTA and a slight increase in IgG antibodies to cells of . Vaccines of or gave no protection. A combined vaccine of and did not reduce the incidence of caries but the antibody titre to cells of was raised to a level comparable with that in the -immunised monkeys. The results of this investigation in a subhuman primate confirm that immunisation with induces protection against caries, unlike the attempt to immunise with two selected strains of lactobacilli. More studies are required to establish the role of specific serotypes of lactobacilli in the development of dental caries.


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