Sera from fifty patients with gonorrhoea, thirty with non-specific urethritis, and eighty blood donors were treated with mercaptoethanol (ME) and examined by the indirect haemagglutination test for antibodies against endotoxin from gonococci. Erythrocytes sensitized with determinant a of endotoxin from Strains 8551, V, and VII, or determinant b from Strain V were used. The percentage of sera active in the haemagglutination test was much higher in the gonorrhoea group than in the controls. The geometric mean titre was also significantly higher in the gonorrhoea group. This applied for all four antigens used. Results obtained in an anti-globulin test indicated that the titre of ME-treated serum was determined by IgG antibodies against the endotoxin. Many sera had titres which varied according to the strain origin of the antigen used in the test. The sensitivity of tests for antibodies was increased by using endotoxin from several different strains of gonococci for the examination of each serum. A simplified procedure for determination of antibodies against endotoxin from different strains of gonococci was elaborated.
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