Gonococcal ribosomes as skin test antigens. I. Preliminary tests of sensitivity and specificity.
Ribosomes isolated from N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis were used as skin test antigens in guinea-pigs which had been previously sensitized with killed Neisseria cells in incomplete Freund adjuvant. Intradermal injection of ribosomes from skin test dose N. gonorrhoeae into the skin of animals sensitized to the homologous organism was characterized by a specificity based upon ribosomal skin test dose 50's (STD50) sensitivity which was at least five-fold greater than that of the animals sensitized to the heterologous organism. The sensitized guinea-pigs had lost their skin-test reactivity within 3 months of the cessation of immunization but regained it immediately on reimmunization. The results of this model system indicate that gonococcal ribosomes may be used as antigens in skin testing or other testing modes in gonorrhoea.