SUMMARY: Immunization of rabbits or monkeys with walls prepared from by a procedure including extraction with SDS at room-temperature induced antibodies to three antigens (A, B and C) detectable by crossed Immunoelectrophoresis. Antigens A and B have previously been characterized as proteins of molecular weight 29000 and 190000, respectively. Antigen C was characterized as having a molecular weight of 70000 and was purified by immunosorbent affinity chromatography and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Another wall protein, antigen D, of molecular weight 13000, was extracted from walls with Triton X-100. Immunization of monkeys with walls prepared from cultures of grown at a high ( = 0.5 h) or low ( = 0.05 h) dilution rate in a chemostat showed that only the latter induced protection against dental caries. There was a positive correlation between levels of antibody to antigens A and C and induction of protection and a negative correlation between protection and the level of antibody to antigen B. No antibody to antigen D was detected in protected monkeys and an experiment in which monkeys were immunized with pure antigen D confirmed that it does not induce protection.


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