The IgM antibody response of mice to the streptococcal group A carbohydrate (GAC) was measured. With most strains tested, large amounts of IgM antibody were produced; in AKR mice, over 1% of the total nucleated spleen cells secreted IgM anti-GAC antibody after hyperimmunization. The relative avidity of the antibody was extimated by a modification of the Jerne plaque assay where spleen cells from individual mice were tested against erythrocytes with varying GAC epitope densitymthese studies showed that the earliest, as well as latest, IgM antibodies produced were highly restricted in avidity heterogeneity. No evidence of affinity maturation was seen upon hyperimmunization. These data favor the conclusion that the restricted IgG response seen in mice hyperimmunized to GAC is not the result of affinity driven competition for antigen among precursor cells.

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