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Antiendotoxin Antibodies: A Dead End?

Alan S. Cross, MD
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Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20307-5100. Requests for Reprints: Alan S. Cross, MD, Department of Bacterial Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20307-5100.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1994;121(1):58-60. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-121-1-199407010-00011
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During the last 30 years, the increased recognition of gram-negative bacillary sepsis and its high mortality (30% to 50%) led investigators to seek strategies to supplement conventional antibiotic treatment. During the 1960s, the structural features of gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide, or endotoxin, were identified: a common, toxic lipid A moiety; an inner-core sugar region; and an antigenically distinct, O polysaccharide side chain. Experimental studies by Chedid, Braude, McCabe, and colleagues [13] suggested that antibodies directed toward epitopes in the inner-core sugar region of the lipopolysaccharide (which are widely shared by gram-negative bacilli) may be broadly protective.

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