The fimbrial haemagglutinin (F-HA) of grown on solid medium was extracted with 1m sodium acetate for 72 h at 20°C, and partially purified by Sephacryl S-300 gel chromatography. A pooled fraction with fimbrial haemagglutinating activity was shown to contain fimbriae of the expected morphology by electron microscopy. Chemical and biological assays showed that the F-HA fraction contained some heat-labile agglutinogen and lipopolysaccharide but no measurable lymphocytosis-promoting factor or heat-labile toxin. The F-HA fraction used as antigen in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) permitted the detection of antibodies in convalescent serum from a patient with whooping cough. The impurities, heat-labile agglutinogens and lipopolysaccharide, did not contribute to the ELISA activity. The method for preparation of the F-HA antigen is simple, reproducible and gives a high yield.


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