Naturally occurring secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies to Streptococcus mutans in human colostrum and saliva

Academic Article


  • Human colostrum, parotid saliva, and serum were assayed for the presence of naturally occurring antibodies to five serotypes of Streptococcus mutans. Appreciable levels of agglutinins to strains AHT, BHT, 10449, 6715, and LM 7 (groups a → e, respectively) were detected in normal colostrum and saliva, whereas relatively low levels were found in serum. No agglutinins could be detected in the colostrum or saliva of immunodeficient patients. Molecular sieve chromatography of the colostrum on Sephadex G 200 revealed agglutinin activity in the secretory immunoglobulin A (s IgA) rich fraction only. Titration of purified colostral s IgA confirmed the IgA nature of this agglutinating activity. Indirect immunofluorescence tests with anti s IgA, IgG, and IgM revealed S. mutans specificity only in the s IgA class. The presence of s IgA antibodies to indigenous oral microorganisms in colostrum, as well as in saliva, suggests that antigenic stimulation occurs at a site remote from the oral mucosa.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Arnold RR; Mestecky J; McGhee JR
  • Start Page

  • 355
  • End Page

  • 362
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 2