Summary: Culture supernates containing pertussis toxin (PT) from four strains of were examined for both immunological reactivity and biological activity. PT from all four strains sensitized mice to histamine and toxin was detectable in supernates of all strains when examined by Western blotting with polyclonal antiserum to PT. In supernates of three of the four strains, PT was detectable by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using mouse monoclonal antibody to subunit S1 of PT as the third antibody layer. However, supernates from one strain, 18323, failed to react in ELISA. Electroblots probed with the monoclonal antibody labelled subunit S1 of PT from all strains except that of strain 18323. PT of strain 18323, whilst retaining histamine-sensitizing activity, differed antigenically from that of other strains.


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