SUMMARY: Antisera against isolated outer membrane (OM) proteins I and II* of 026 K60 were elicited in rabbits. Antisera obtained after intramuscular administration with Freund's complete adjuvant showed high titres of specific antibodies. Intravenous administration of the same preparations yielded a considerable antibody response against bacterial lipopolysaccharide, a minor contaminant of the protein preparations. Antibody titres against OM proteins I and II*, lipopolysaccharide and murein-lipoprotein were determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in these sera, and in antisera elicited against whole formaldehyde-fixed bacteria or isolated OM. Comparison of ELISA with single radial immunodiffusion and interfacial immunoprecipitation tests revealed that ELISA was not only the most uniformly applicable, but also the most specific and the most convenient method. In double diffusion tests no cross-reactivity between proteins I and II* was seen. Antibodies against proteins I and II*, lipopolysaccharide and lipoprotein could be specifically absorbed from the sera with the appropriate antigen preparations. Absorption experiments with intact O26 K60, Tris/EDTA-sheared bacteria and isolated OM revealed that antibodies against protein I were hardly absorbed at all probably because the antibody, evoked against denatured protein I, did not react with the protein in its native configuration. Antibodies against protein II* and lipoprotein were absorbed by intact as well as by sheared bacteria, but to a much greater extent by isolated OM, which indicates that these OM components are accessible from the outside, but that they are situated relatively deep in the OM structure.


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