Tests made on ten colonies from a strain of 02:K1 demonstrated that bacterial agglutination tests were reliable for identifying the O antigen of serogroup 02 but were unreliable for identifying the Kl antigen. The granular nature of K agglutination was not a reliable characteristic of the L type of K antigen. In contrast, indirect haemagglutination, immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoresis tests with bacterial extracts gave consistent results with all colonies. The polysaccharide Kl antigen formed a long anodic precipitation line with two peaks, indicating its heterogenous nature, and partial fusion of this line with the O-antigen precipitation line suggested the presence of common serological determinants. In addition, a heat-labile protein antigen, possibly another K antigen, was identified by indirect haemagglutination tests and may have produced a short anodic precipitation line. The results also showed that the Kl antigen was still produced after storage of a culture for 12 years on Dorset-egg medium.


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