SUMMARY: Staphylococci produce coagulase in two forms. One is bound to the cell wall and is responsible for the slide test. The other is liberated as free coagulase in the medium and is responsible for the tube test. Bound coagulase acts directly on the fibrinogen of certain animals which then causes clumping of the staphylococcal cells, while free coagulase acts on the ‘prothrombin’ of certain animals to give a thrombin-like product. Bound coagulase is antigenically distinct from free coagulase. It is released during autolysis and it can be used to produce specific antibodies in rabbits.


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