Studies on vasculitis

II. Some properties of complexes formed of antibacterial antibodies from persons with or without cutaneous vasculitis


Dr W. E. Parish, Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, Elstree, Herts.


Antibodies to protein and polysaccharide antigens of streptococci in persons with cutaneous vasculitis following streptococcal pharyngeal infection have no special ability to form tissue-damaging complexes, when compared with antibody from patients without vasculitis though convalescent from similar infection.

Antibodies from patients with vasculitis were less effective than those from patients without vasculitis in fixing complement, in mediating erythrocyte immune-adherence, formed complexes releasing less acid phosphatase and acid protease from monkey or human neutrophils, and induced smaller vascular lesions in guinea-pig skin.

Similarly, antibodies to staphylococci from persons with and without vasculitis were equally effective in fixing complement or mediating immune-adherence.

Examination of the properties of antibodies in a patient's serum cannot be used to determine his susceptibility to vasculitis, which depends as much on the release of sufficient antigen to form tissue-damaging complexes.