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Inactivation of Bacteriophage T4r by Specific Antiserum


Mandell, Joseph David (1955) Inactivation of Bacteriophage T4r by Specific Antiserum. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/FP11-W197.


After a brief discussion of antigens, haptens, and antibodies, and a review of the literature on the phage antiphage reaction, a general theory of the inactivation of phage by antiserum is developed. The discovery by Jerne and Skovsted (38) that the rate of inactivation of phage T4r by specific antiserum is a thousand times faster in a medium of low ionic strength than in 0.1 M salt solution has made possible the study of the kinetics of the reaction at extremely low concentrations of antiserum. The use of low concentrations of antiserum has allowed the investigation of the reaction in conditions of phage excess at such low concentrations of phage that aggregation of phage does not take place. From a study of the kinetics of inactivation at low concentrations of phage and antibody in a low ionic strength medium quantitative estimates were made of the number of sites on a phage particle to which antibody molecules may attach (700), the number of these sites which, when occupied, result in the inactivation of the phage particle (10-30), the number of specific inactivating antibody molecules in antiserum (10[superscript 16]/ml), and the efficiency of killing of a phage particle per collision of antibody with the tip of the tail (0.8).

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Virology and Genetics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Delbruck, Max
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1955
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01142004-140840
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:164
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:16 Jan 2004
Last Modified:06 Jul 2023 17:55

Thesis Files

PDF (Mandell_jd_1955.pdf) - Final Version
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