Six strains of (W 118, TML, SL 1027, LT7, M206 and Thax 1) of different virulence were examined for the presence of antigens which react with antibodies to cholera toxin (anti-CT). A fluorescent-antibody-labelling technique employing anti-CT was used to analyse antigen expression. A rapid increase in the proportion of cells producing a CT-related antigen was demonstrated in cells in early log phase (1–4 h growth) followed by a rapid decline during mid-late log phase in each of the six strains. The nature of the CT-related antigen was analysed by immunoblotting using anti-CT. An antigen of mol. wt equivalent to a high-mol. wt species of CT B subunit was detected in polymyxin-B extracts of all strains but greater amounts were observed in the strains that we consider avirulent. Nothing equivalent to a CT A-related subunit was observed in any of the strains. The relatedness of the salmonella antigen to CT was limited. The high-mol. wt antigen was not disrupted in the denaturing conditions of SDS-PAGE; nothing was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with either ganglioside or anti-CT as anchor.


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