Teeth in the oral cavity are coated with a salivary film or pellicle, which lacks apparent intermolecular organization. This heterogeneous film facilitates binding of early commensal colonizing bacteria, including Streptococcus sanguis. To test the hypothesis that sufficient intermolecular organization exists in salivary films to form binding sites for S. sanguis, an in vitro model of saliva-coated teeth was probed with murine anti- idiotypical monoclonal antibodies (mAb2, anti-ids). The anti-ids were harvested from hybridomas that were developed in response to first generation murine hybridomas that produced anti-S. sanguis adhesin monoclonal antibodies (mAb1). The anti-ids (i) reacted with experimental salivary films and inhibited S. sanguis adhesion in a dose-dependent fashion. In Western blots, the anti-ids (ii) recognized a high molecular weight salivary antigen and (iii) secretory IgA (sIgA) light chain and α-amylase. After isolation by gel filtration from whole saliva or mixed secretory IgA and α-amylase, the high molecular weight component, containing amylase activity and sIgA, bound to hydroxyapatite to promote adhesion of S. sanguis. Therefore, a complex enriched in secretory immunoglobulin A and α-amylase forms a S. sanguis- binding site.