The effect of rifampicin on contact sensitivity to DNCB (1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene) was studied in outbred guinea pigs. The administration of rifampicin in a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight prior to and during the sensitization procedure suppressed the development of skin hypersensitivity. When sensitized animals were given rifampicin for 2 weeks prior to and during the epicutaneous test no suppression was demonstrated. Following rifampicin treatment there was a significant reduction of the weight of both the thymus and the spleen. We think that our findings are due to a rifampicin-mediated inhibition of lymphoid cell proliferation.

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