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February 1970

Local Immunity

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;83(2):131. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990030133001

FOR MANY YEARS clinical observations in ophthalmology have indicated that there is some local resistance to repeated infections by bacteria and viruses. Until recently, however, the nature of these local immune phenomena have been obscure.

It has recently been found that there is a unique local secretory antibody system which is relatively independent of circulating antibodies. The common circulating antibodies are the γM antibody, a macroglobulin antibody usually occurring shortly after infection and not crossing the placenta, and γG antibody, a 7 S antibody which generally is the predominant antibody of γ-globulin. In addition, however, there is a γA antibody and a γE antibody, the latter being primarily involved in allergic phenomena. The circulating γA antibody (a monomer consisting of two heavy chains and two light chains) does not fix complement, although it can neutralize viruses and lyse bacteria. Most important, this γA antibody is produced by plasma cells located

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