Cell-free lung lavage fluid (LLF) from healthy normal rats killed phase I (wild-type, virulent) at 37° was also killed by the LLF, but phase IV (avirulent mutant) and some other common bacterial species, including , were not. Transmission electron microscopy of thin sections of the phase I showed extensive structural damage and cell lysis. None of the other mammalian species tested had LLF with bactericidal activity against as high as that of the rat. Rats killed with halothane yielded LLF with higher bactericidal activity than when CO was used. Ultracentrifugation of LLF at 55 000 g gave a surfactant (pellet) fraction that had c. 95% of the bactericidal activity and which was biochemically distinct from the 5% of activity in the supernate fraction. Phospholipids and fatty acids appeared to be involved in LLF bactericidal activity, but not complement or lysozyme. Arachidonic acid was the most active of the fatty acids tested. Artificial surfactant, as used in premature infants, had no bactericidal effect on .


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