SUMMARY. The determinant responsible for the ability of spp. to inhibit polymorph phagocytic killing of aerobic organisms has not yet been identified. Therefore, the roles of lipopolysaccharide and capsular polysaccharide of were investigated. Serum-resistant and serum-sensitive strains of were used to indicate inhibition of phagocytic killing and serum killing of aerobes. Whole organisms of , purified lipopolysaccharide and capsular polysaccharide were added to an in-vitro phagocytosis system. Results showed that > 10 bacteroides/ml inhibited both serum and phagocytic killing. Concentrations below 10/ml had little effect on either process. Purified capsular polysaccharide (10 or 100 μg/ml), either alone in the system or in combination with sub-inhibitory concentrations of also markedly inhibited serum and phagocytic killing. Lipopolysaccharide (9 μg/ml) appeared relatively inert. , reputedly non-capsulated, produced identical results to those obtained with , but an encapsulated strain of did not inhibit serum or phagocytic killing.


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