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Increased Opsonic Capacity of Serum in Chronic Heroin Addiction

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Supported in part by grants #AI 08821-02 and AM AI 13824-01, the U. S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C.; and in part by a grant from the New Mexico Arthritis Foundation, Albuquerque.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Ralph C. Williams, Jr., Department of Medicine, Bernalillo County Medical Center, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N. M. 87106

Baltimore, Maryland; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(5):671-677. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-72-5-671
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Studies of phagocytosis promoting capacity and immunoglobulin levels were conducted in a group of 25 long-term heroin addicts. Sera were collected from addicts at Lexington, Ky.; Synanon House, San Francisco; and Albuquerque, N. M. Striking increments in heat-stable opsonins for Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens were found in many addicts' sera as compared with normal control sera. Marked elevations of gamma M (up to 660 mg/100 ml) were found in many sera, accompanied by 19S antibacterial opsonins as demonstrated by separations in sucrose density gradients. Antigamma-globulin factors were present in 36% of the addicts studied. There was no impairment in ingestion or killing of test bacteria by polymorphonuclear leukocytes obtained from subjects on substitution narcotic therapy.





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