The type-specific polysaccharide and the R protein antigens of the L-phase from a group B, type III streptococcus

Aurea E. Flores, Patricia Ferrieri

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Abstract

The type-specific polysaccharide and the R protein antigens from filtered culture supernatants of the bacterial phase and L-phase of the group B, type III streptococcal strain 76–043 were studied by several immunological methods. In the L-phase of growth, the two antigens were separate and distinct molecules which were found principally in the culture supernatant even on the 254th serial subculture in the cell-wall-defective state. Only trace amounts of these antigens were detected in extracts of L-phase cells. The type III polysaccharide antigens in the supernatant of cultures of the parent bacterium and the L-phase gave reactions of identity in immunodiffusion. Precipitin bands obtained by immunoelectrophoresis (IEP) revealed that the type-specific antigen of the bacterial phase of growth migrated toward the anode, whereas that of the L-phase remained near the antigen well. The R protein antigen in the L-phase supernatant was immunologically identical to the R protein of the supernatant and 1 % trypsin-extracted antigens from whole cells of the parent bacterial strain, and other groups A, B and C streptococcal strains sharing a common R antigen. Immunologically, the R antigen appeared to be the species R4. The R protein of the L-phase and bacterial phase cultures was resistant to 5 % trypsin but sensitive to 0.5 % pepsin at 37°C/2hr. Antiserum prepared in rabbits against L-phase cells contained an antibody reactive with the R protein antigens of the bacterial and L-phase cultures. The soluble, naturally released type III and R protein streptococcal antigens of the L-phase of growth permitted immunological confirmation of its bacterial origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalZentralblatt fur Bakteriologie Mikrobiologie und Hygiene - Abt. 1 Orig. A
Volume259
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

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