SUMMARY: When heat-killed whole organisms of strain Ingbritt (serotype ) were injected into rabbits, antibodies to at least 12 antigens were detectable by crossed immuno-electrophoresis. In contrast, when rabbits were immunized with organisms which had been subjected to extraction with the detergent sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), antibodies to only two protein antigens were found. These two proteins (A and B), while existing in a form apparently closely associated with peptidoglycan, could also be recovered from homogenates of whole organisms after sonication and from culture filtrates. Antigenic material was excreted throughout growth. SDS-polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis showed A to have a molecular weight of 29000, while B had a molecular weight of 190000. Antigen B was purified to apparent homogeneity as judged by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing. All of six strains of serotype examined produced antigen B. Strains of serotypes and also produce antigenically identical proteins and strains of serotypes and produce proteins which cross-reacted with antigen B. Antigen B was specifically precipitated by rabbit antiserum to human heart tissue.


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