Environmental Temperatures and Resistance to Infection

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Survival time of mice, after Type I pneumococcus inoculation, is markedly shorter for heat-adapted animals than for those kept in a cool environment.

Antibody production following vaccine injection seems slightly reduced in the heat, but the difference is too small to account for the marked contrast in survival time.

The amount of specific antibody (antiserum from rabbits) required for protection is essentially the same for hot and cold room animals.

Studies now in progress point to a reduction in phagocytic activity as probably the dominant factor in the lowered resistance brought by environmental warmth.

Author Notes

Laboratories for Experimental Medicine, University of Cincinnati.

Institute for Medical Research, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati.