The ultrastructural location of the group-specific polysaccharide and the type-specific protein antigens R and X of group B streptococci was studied by means of the direct immunoferritin technique. The group-specific antigen was located on the outer wall layer. The specificity of the reaction was proved by the inhibition of labelling after absorption of the antibody-ferritin conjugate with group B polysaccharide. On the other hand, the demonstration of the polysaccharide was not sterically hindered by protein type antigens. As with group A and C streptococci the group polysaccharide could be localized on both the outer and inner surfaces of isolated walls. The protein antigens R and X were also demonstrated on the wall surface. The specificity of the reaction was ensured by making use of the enzymic sensitivity of these antigens. The location of the R protein on long filaments protruding from the cell surface resembles that of M protein of group A streptococci. In contrast to the group polysaccharide both the R and X protein antigens are localized only on the outer surface of isolated walls.


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