The identification of P fimbriae on urinary strains of isolated from urine was made (i) by observation of the patterns of mannose-resistant and eluting haemagglutination of erythrocytes of seven animal species (and including those of human phenotype), and (ii) by haemagglutination-inhibition tests with hydatid-cyst fluid known to contain an analogue of P-fimbrial receptor. In tests with five different, pure P-fimbrial antisera prepared in rabbits, agglutinin titres of 37 P-fimbriate strains revealed differences in their reactivity; immuno-electronmicroscopy studies with the same five antisera showed that P-fimbriate strains were markedly different in the extent to which their P fimbriae were coated with antibody. The antigenic heterogeneity observed among P fimbriae is discussed with regard to the development of P-fimbrial vaccines.


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