During the course of a clinical study on patients with campylobacteriosis, three consecutive isolates of from the same patient were sent for O-serotyping. Marked differences in the specificities of the O antigens of the isolates were observed between the first and third isolates when a passive haemagglutination assay system developed for serotyping was used. Differences in specificity were also demonstrated by immunoblots of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from proteinase K-digested whole cells. The three isolates could not be distinguished either by restriction endonuclease analysis of chromosomal DNA, by gel electrophoresis of whole-cell proteins or by silver-stained LPS gels, thus providing evidence that they were of the same strain and that antigenic variation had occurred .


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