Crossed immunoelectrophoresis (XIE) reference systems were established for (Legionella) (containing , and ) and for . The and XIE reference systems contained 54 and 72 anodemigrating antigens, respectively. These two systems, together with the previously described polyvalent (serogroups 1 through 6) XIE reference system, were used to study the crossreactivities of antigens from organisms comprising the three proposed genera in the family . Antigenic homology was expressed as the matching coefficient (MC), the ratio of the number of cross-reactive antigens to the total number of antigens. The MCs for individual serogroups when the polyvalent antibody was used were 0.98 ± 0.05, which was significantly higher than the MCs determined by using or antibodies (0.50 ± 0.13) (P ≪ 0.001). The MCs for the three species of when polyvalent antibody was used were 0.93 ± 0.10, which was also significantly higher than the MCs when heterologous antibodies were used (0.40 ± 0.04) (P ≪ 0.001). The MCs for with the two heterologous antibody preparations were similar to each other (0.32 and 0.46) and to all other heterologous MCs among members of the . The MCs for organisms representing three other families of bacteria were 0.16 ± 0.04 in all three XIE reference systems and were significantly lower than the MCs among members of the (P ≪ 0.001). When a priori criteria for MC interpretation established in previous serotaxonomic studies of other bacterial species by XIE were used, our results from studies on the antigenic relationships among , and supported the proposal that there are multiple genera in the family .


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