A set of monoclonal antibodies were prepared by the conventional cell fusion of myeloma cells (SP2/0-Ag14) with spleen cells from BALB/c mice immunised with whole cells of a strain of mutans streptococci. Their specificities were examined against 35 reference strains of mutans streptococci, 34 reference strains of other oral streptococci and 8 reference strains of other microorganisms often inhabiting the oral cavity. Specificity was examined by enzyme immunoassay using whole cells. A total of 52 strains, consisting of 19 strains isolated in Japan, 19 strains isolated in Italy and 14 strains isolated in England, were characterised by conventional physiological and biochemical tests and then serotyped by the use of 8 monoclonal antibodies with different specificities. They were also confirmed by guanine-plus-cytosine contents of their nucleic acid and DNA-DNA hybridisation test. The results indicated that all monoclonal antibodies are useful for identification of 8 serotypes of the mutans streptococci responsible for dental caries. They also suggest the existence of more serological varieties among mutans species.

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