Summary: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been used to estimate the serological relatedness of spiroplasmas. The method was shown to be a sensitive and discriminating quantitative technique, with a minimum detection level of between 10and 10spiroplasmas. Antisera to and corn stunt spiroplasma, and a monospecific antiserum to a purified membrane protein, spiralin, were used to compare spiroplasmas isolated from plant and insect hosts. Spiroplasma cell surface antigens were compared using intact cells as the antigens for ELISA, while the complete ranges of cell antigens were compared using lysed cells. Distinct serological groupings of spiroplasmas emerged, in accord with current schemes. Homology of some and honeybee (BC3) spiroplasma antigens was confirmed by crossed immunoelectrophoresis. ELISA is discussed in relation to results from other serological typing procedures, and conditions for comparing isolates by tandem crossed immunoelectrophoresis are described.


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