The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of lipopolysaccharide-like material in the intestinal spirochaete and the extent of antigenic cross-reactivity of this material in different strains of the species. Hot water-phenol, aqueous-phase extracts from five porcine and three human strains of , and from seven strains of four other spp., were separated by SDS-PAGE and silver-stained profiles were obtained. All strains had a predominant band at c. 16 kDa. Some also had a partial ladder-like profile, consistent with the presence of semi-rough lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS); this was more obvious in Western immunoblot analysis. LOS from each strain was serologically distinct in immunoblot analysis and there was no cross-reactivity with other Serpulina spp. The serological diversity found amongst the LOS of strains may help to explain why individual people and animals can suffer repeated infections with different strains of the organism.


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