. Flagella extracted from five serovars, representative of the pathogenic and saprophytic species of the Leptospiraceae, were morphologically similar. Analysis of flagellar preparations by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed three common major bands in the (30-40) x 10-mol. wt region, and serovar-specific bands in the lower region of the gels. Although some differences were observed, flagella extracted from serovar and revealed similar electrophoretic profiles to those seen in flagella. Immunoblot analysis showed that while flagellar components in the (20-30) x 10-mol. wt region were recognised only by homologous rabbit antisera, a major protein doublet of (33-34) x 10 or (35-36) x 10-mol. wt, depending on the species, was also demonstrated by heterologous antisera. The serovar-specific bands in the (20-30) x 10-mol. wt region were composed of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These results show that leptospiral flagella are immunogenic and contain antigens which are conserved among the different genera of the family Leptospiraceae.


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