THERE have been numerous reports in recent years dealing with hyaluronic acid, hyaluronidases, and hyaluronidase inhibitors. The relationship of these substances to Group A hemolytic streptococcal infections and rheumatic fever has been the chief interest of this laboratory. The present study was undertaken in an effort to gain additional information regarding this aspect of the problem.
The mucin-clot-prevention method was used to measure both streptococcal hyaluronidase and streptococcal antihyaluronidase. This method has been described by McClean1 and was based upon the observations of Meyer and Palmer,2 Seastone,3 and Robertson, Ropes, and Bauer.4 The basis of the test was the observation that hyaluronic acid, when mixed with protein and acidified, produced a mucin clot and that this reaction was inhibited by the presence of hyaluronidase. This test has been employed by subsequent investigators5 and modified by us as described below.
1. Preparation of Hyaluronic Acid.
—Human umbilical cords6 were used