The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 279-289

First online:

A set theoretical approach to immunotaxonomy: Analysis of species comparisons in modified ouchterlony plates

  • G. William MooreAffiliated withUndergraduate Honors Research Participant, The University of Michigan
  • , Morris GoodmanAffiliated withWayne State University College of MedicinePlymouth State Home

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The precipitin spurs formed in Ochterlony comparisons of corresponding antigens in different species can be defined using the notation of set theory. A computer program based on this set theory definition can then be applied to Ouchterlony data so as to list the various species employed in the comparisons in order of increasing divergence, from an homologous species. Such a computer program concisely captured conclusions, previously drawn in a more discursive manner, from data obtained with chicken and rabbit antisera to purified human serum proteins and produced results highly correlated with those of the more quantitative method of micro-complement fixation.