Strains of and adhered readily to live cultures of human fibroblasts. Sera from animals immunised against contain antibodies that specifically prevent the adhesion of to the cells. Anti-adhesion antibodies will not detach already adherent to fibroblasts. Limited experiments suggest that the same conclusions are true for and monkey tracheal epithelium. It is concluded that the adhesion of to cells depends on a biochemical mechanism, and is analogous to the adsorption of influenza virus on red cells.

Titres of anti-adhesion antibody in blood and saliva show little correlation, and it seems probable that there are two immunity systems in whooping cough: () a true prophylactic immunity in which locally produced IgA secretory immunoglobulin prevents the adhesion of the organism to the mucous membrane; and () a therapeutic system, involving polymorphs and an opsonin, which after the development of inflammation acts at the surface of the membrane and eliminates the infection.

The current practice of parenteral vaccination would seem to induce the latter type of immunity, the infection itself the former type.


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