Antisera were prepared against the type-1 fimbriae of three strains of B and against the type-2 fimbriae of two strains of B and one strain of The anti-type-1 and anti-type-2 sera agglutinated fimbriate-phase bacteria possessing either type-1 or type-2 fimbriae. Neither antiserum agglutinated non-fimbriate-phase bacteria of the same strains. Mirror absorption tests were performed and in each case the fimbrial agglutinin content of the serum of either type was absorbed by bacteria with fimbriae of the other type. The results showed that the type-1 and type-2 fimbriae of B contain the same fimbrial antigens. It is suggested that the type-2 fimbriae of B are mutational CRM forms of the type-1 fimbriae, because they are antigenically similar to type-1 fimbriae though they lack the “ functional” adhesive properties of the latter type. A mutational origin of type-2 from type-1 bacteria is suggested by the observation that some strains of B with type-2 fimbriae gave rise to mutants with type-1 fimbriae both spontaneously and after treatment with mutagens. The absence of a distinctive antigen corresponding to the haemagglutinin in the type-1 fimbriae suggests that the haemagglutinin occupies only a small proportion of the surface of the fimbriae, possibly only on their tips.


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