Summary: The serotype-specific capsular polysaccharide from two strains of serotype T4 organisms was purified and characterized by chemical analysis and NMR spectroscopy. The polymer, a teichoic acid, has the backbone structure → (2-glycerol-1) → (phosphate) → (6-α--galactose-1) → and is partially -acetylated on the C2 and C3 galactose residues. Chemical removal of -acetyl groups from the polysaccharide destroyed both its ability to precipitate with antiserum raised against killed whole serotype T4 organisms and its ability to adhere to sheep erythrocytes in passive haemagglutination experiments. Attempts to elicit antisera using the purified polymer were unsuccessful but a partially purified material was immunogenic.


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