Sera of 132 selected patients belonging to stages II, III or IV of clinical trachoma have been tested by CF-test against the ether-soluble, group-specific Bedsonia antigen, as well as by CF-inhibition test against an indicator system of the same group-reactive specificity.
On the basis of the serological results obtained, the following conclusions have been advanced:
Trachoma patients do not develop group-specific CF-inhibiting antibodies in their sera.
The group-reactive (anti-Bedsonia) CF-titres found in sera of trachoma patients represent residual titres developed in response to past infections with agents other than trachoma. There is no satisfactory explanation for the fact that in trachoma patients neither CF, nor CF-inhibiting antibodies develop against the group-reactive Bedsonia antigen, which is known to be produced also by the virus of trachoma.
Statistical analyses revealed that, in the group of stage IV trachomas, the mean values of the anti-Bedsonia CF-titres were significantly higher than those found in the groups of stage II or III, as well as that the factors responsible for that difference must be other than the duration of the trachoma.
A hypothesis was advanced to explain the appearance of the highest group specific mean-titre revealed by the group of stage IV cases.