LPS is the major surface glycolipid on gram-negative bacteria. In this work, we have idiotypically characterized the antibody response against LPS in different species. To do this, we have produced mAb against LPS. Binding of many of these antibodies to LPS could be inhibited by LPS and lipid A, indicating that the monoclonals are specific for lipid A, the toxic moiety of the LPS molecule. One anti-lipid A antibody, IC9, proved protective against gram-negative bacteremia and endotoxic shock in murine protection models. We generated anti-idiotypic antibodies against IC9. The binding of several of these anti-Id to IC9 was specifically inhibited by lipid A. We used these anti-Id to characterize the anti-LPS response, and the results revealed that the IC9 Id is conserved in different species. The importance of an interspecies cross-reactive Id in the response to endotoxin and its relevance in vaccine development for septic shock are discussed.

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