Contraception Research for Today and the Nineties

Volume 1 of the series Progress in Vaccinology pp 183-197

Birth Control Vaccines Inducing Antibodies Against Chorionic Gonadotropin

  • G. P. Talwar
  • , Om Singh

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The possibility of inducing antibodies against reproductive tract antigens by deliberate immunization was indicated as early as 1899 by the pioneering work of Landsteiner (14) and Metchinikoff (15). These leaders of immunology did obtain antisera toxic to sperm. However, the practical utility of this lead for control of fertility could not materialize owing to several factors. Crude tissue extracts induced antibodies reactive to unwanted tissues with potential toxicity hazards. Not enough was known of the immune processes and the manner in which these could be modulated to advantage. Furthermore, for antigens localized on sperm, it would be necessary to ensure the right type of immune reactions in the genital tract for preventing fertilization; antibodies in systemic circulation alone may not suffice.