Lancefield Whole Blood Killing Assay to Evaluate Vaccine Efficacy

Mark Reglinski (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


While the Lancefield whole blood killing assay is named after the renowned streptococcal researcher Rebecca Lancefield, the protocol was first described by Todd in 1927 (Br J Exp Pathol 8:1-5, 1927). Initially, the assay was used to identify novel Group A Streptococcal (GAS) serotypes through the supplementation of non-immune human blood (often from infants) with type-specific antisera prepared in rabbits (Lancefield, J Exp Med 106:525-544, 1957; Maxted, Br J Exp Pathol 37:415-422, 1956) and to demonstrate the impressive longevity of type-specific immunity in patients following invasive GAS infection (Lancefield, J Exp Med 110:271-292, 1959). The modern assay is routinely used to screen defined GAS mutants (Wessels, Bronze, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 91:12238-12242, 1994; Zinkernagel et al., Cell Host Microbe 4:170-178, 2008) or transposon libraries (Le Breton et al., Infect Immun 81:862-875, 2013) for enhanced susceptibility to opsonophagocytic killing or to screen vaccine antisera (Salehi et al., mSphere 3:e00617-e00618, 2018) or other serological preparations (Reglinski et al., Sci Rep 5:15825, 2015) for anti-streptococcal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGroup A Streptococcus
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsThomas Proft, Jacelyn M. S. Loh
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781071604670
ISBN (Print)9781071604663
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Antiserum
  • Bacterial killing
  • Lancefield assay
  • Multiplication factor
  • Mutant screening
  • Opsonophagocytosis
  • Whole blood

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