Antibody-mediated protection was studied in an experimental murine model of peritonitis-septicaemia with O18: K1. Protection from lethal intraperitoneal challenge was achieved by passive immunisation with horse anti-K1 capsular antiserum (H46) or rabbit antiserum to the homologous O18 antigen. The maximum increase in LD50 achieved with anti-K1 and anti-O18 antibodies was 10-and 5-fold, respectively. The protective capacity of the anti-O serum was found to be in the IgG fraction. Rabbits were also immunised with various semi-purified or purified outer-membrane-protein preparations (porins and OmpA protein) from rough or strains or with whole J 5 bacteria. Although this immunisation resulted in high antibody titres to homologous and, to a lesser extent, also to heterologous antigens, none of the antisera protected against challenge with the capsulate O 18: K1 bacteria.


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