Broth cultures of were examined for mannose-sensitive (MS) haemagglutinin in rocked-tile tests with guinea-pig red cells at ambient temperature, and agar plate cultures were examined for mannose-resistant eluting (MRE) haemagglutinins against 14 species of red cells in tests mixed at 3-5°C in the presence of 0.5% (w/v) D-mannose. Ox, sheep, human, pig, horse, guinea-pig, and fowl red cells were required to detect the various patterns of MRE haemagglutination with the different species of cells.

Of 387 strains in 155 O serogroups, 95 formed both MS and MRE haemagglutinins (MS+/MRE+), 198 formed only MS (MS+/MRE−), 21 only MRE (MS−/MRE+), and 73 neither (MS−/MRE−). Strains of more than one of these types, and MRE+ strains with different cell specificities were found in many of the serogroups. Some strains in 144 O serogroups had MS haemagglutinin and some in 50 an MRE haemagglutinin.

The presence of MS haemagglutinin in a culture was invariably associated with the presence of type-1 fimbriae on the bacteria. All MS+ strains shared a common antigen in their type-1 fimbriae and three groups of these strains possessed also a group-specific fimbrial antigen. The presence of certain kinds of MRE haemagglutinin in over half the MRE+ strains was associated with that of type-MRE fimbriae, but fimbriae were not detected in the other MRE+ strains. The antigens of the MRE haemagglutinins in different strains were heterogeneous and differed from those of the type-1 fimbriae of MS+ strains.

Three series of strains from normal faeces, and from patients with infantile diarrhoea and urinary-tract infections each included a minority possessing neither type of haemagglutinin, but this observation did not preclude a role of the haemagglutinins in colonization or pathogenicity.


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