Author(s): Brunner H, Greenberg HB, James WD, Horswood RL, Couch RB
After experimental infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae, 42% of 67 volunteers developed a threefold or greater rise in antibody in nasal secretions as measured by radioimmunoprecipitation. Development of an antibody increase in sputum was detected more often, i.e., in 73% of the volunteers. Each of the antibody increases involved immunoglobulin (Ig) A. Twelve rises in IgG antibody were detected in the specimens which exhibited a rise in IgA antibody. In almost every instance the rise in IgA antibody exceeded that seen with IgG antibody. Analysis of the response to experimental challenge with M. pneumoniae of volunteers with different levels of preexisting respiratory tract IgA antibody suggested that this secretory antibody was related to host resistance to M. pneumoniae disease. Further, respiratory tract IgA antibody appeared to be more directly related to host resistance than was antibody in serum.