The objective of this study was to investigate the antigenic profiles of serogroups 1 to 6 and antigenic relatedness among individual serogroups. A reference precipitate pattern which had 71 anodic- and 6 cathodic-migrating antigens was established with a pooled antigen preparation of sonicated cells of serogroups 1 to 6 against purified homologous rabbit antibody. Sixteen antigens made heat stable by boiling for 10 min were found, of which one could be demonstrated as being the common antigen of gram-negative bacteria and another could be shown as being the serogroup-specific antigen of . Precipitin patterns similar in overall appearance and precipitin numbers were demonstrated for each serogroup by testing antigen preparations of individual serogroups against reference system antibody. Crossed-line experiments revealed < 5 non-cross-reacting antigens among serogroups, with resulting matching coefficients (ratio of the number of cross-reactive to total antigens) all above 0.91. The matching coefficients found when testing antigen preparations from serogroups 7 and 8 were 0.93 and 0.99, respectively. By contrast, the matching coefficients of , and was 0.39, 0.45, 0.39, and 0.41, respectively. Comparison of precipitate patterns and experimental results between the previously described monovalent serogroup 1 system and the polyvalent crossed immunoelectrophoresis system with serogroups 1 to 6 substantiated the antigenic homogencity of and the significant difference in antigenic composition between this taxon and other members of the family . In addition, reproducibility of the antigenic profile of by crossed immunoelectrophoresis was demonstrated.


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