SUMMARY: Infection of subcutaneously implanted chambers in guinea pigs conferred immunity against homologous infection of other chambers in the same animals. However, attempts to immunize guinea pigs by subcutaneous injection of filtered fluid from infected chambers, or with small doses of formalin-killed, chamber gonococci were not successful. Thus, neither organisms grown nor their extracellular products appeared to be exceptionally immunogenic.

In immunizing tests with different isolates of gonococci adapted to growth in guinea-pig chambers, cross-immunity to chamber infection with low challenge doses was detected only between two of six isolates. The killing of gonococci in chambers of immunized animals, which occurred only after homologous challenge or with the heterologous strain showing cross-immunity, was not due primarily to humoral factors in the chamber fluid but probably to an enhanced effectiveness of phagocytosis. The serum of immunized animals was bactericidal for homologous strains and for the strain showing cross-immunity but not for strains showing no cross-immunity. Hence, serum bactericidal activity might be a useful indicator for investigating the specificity of immunity produced by different gonococcal strains.


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