SUMMARY: Conventional methods for the preparation of cell walls of a highly protective strain of destroy the protective antigen. Bacteria were therefore lysed by the enzyme pronase instead of by the mechanical disintegration methods commonly employed. Final purification and separation of cell walls and membranes was achieved by equilibrium density-gradient centrifugation with sodium iodide in a zonal rotor. The resultant cell walls had a two-layered structure when seen in ultra-thin section and were highly immunogenic when used to immunize mice against challenge with Rabbit antisera raised against the cell walls provided passive protection against challenge in mice and the level of protection was not diminished by the absorption of all agglutinins from the sera. These results confirm previous observations that the protective antigen is a heat-labile cell wall antigen which stimulates the production of non-agglutinating protective antibody.


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