OBJECTIVE: Monoclonal antibody D8/17 identifies a B lymphocyte antigen with expanded expression in rheumatic fever, Sydenham’s chorea, and subgroups of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette’s syndrome with repetitive behaviors. The authors examined the rate of D8/17 expression in children with autism and its correlation with severity of repetitive behaviors. METHOD: Blood samples from 18 patients with autism and 14 comparable medically ill children were evaluated for percentage of D8/17-positive B cells by immunofluorescence and for streptococcal antibodies. Severity of repetitive behaviors was also determined. RESULTS: The frequency of individuals with ≥11% D8/17-positive cells was significantly higher in the autistic patients (78%) than the comparison subjects (21%), severity of repetitive behaviors significantly correlated with D8/17 expression, and D8/17-positive patients had significantly higher compulsion scores than D8/17-negative patients. CONCLUSIONS: D8/17 expression is high in patients with autism and may serve as a marker for compulsion severity within autism.