Six isolates of , representing various serotypes of the organism and possessing similar degrees of virulence in mice, were examined for their production of an extracellular toxic complex (ETC) . This compound is lethal for mice and produces extensive lung pathology in rats; it is composed of a surface carbohydrate antigen, lipopolysaccharide and protein. All six isolates produced the ETC. The LD50 values for the six ETC preparations ranged from 395 μg for strain 61g to 1750 μg for strain 90ee. Only two of the six ETC preparations contained ketodeoxyoctonate detectable by the methods used, and these two were the most toxic. Rabbit antiserum to the ETC of a serotype D strain could significantly protect mice only against serotype D strains. Examination of the various phases of growth of showed that there was extracellular release of the ETC beginning in the early logarithmic phase and continuing through the late stationary phase. The presence of the ETC in the supernatant fluids was due to release of this material rather than to cell lysis. In addition, at least one strain of was shown to produce an alginic acid-like compound.


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