A soluble haemagglutinin has been identified in cell-free culture supernates of human diarrhoeal isolates of and It was oligomeric; a major peak of haemagglutinating activity had an apparent mol. wt of 780000 but there was haemagglutinating activity throughout the mol. wt range <40000-> 10. Human group O, A and B, horse, rabbit, chicken and rat erythrocytes, but not those of sheep and cow, were agglutinated by the soluble haemagglutinin, in contrast to the cell-bound agglutinin. Agglutination was inhibited by fetuin, a complex glycoprotein, but not by simple sugars. The haemagglutinating activity was not affected by 0·5 NaCl, dithiothreitol or the presence or absence of Ca. It was unrelated to the haemolytic, enterotoxigenic and proteolytic activities present in cell-free extracts of All , 73% of and 68% of strains tested produced this soluble haemagglutinin. does not appear to be an enteric pathogen, therefore this soluble haemagglutinin alone is unlikely to be a virulence factor in spp.


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