SUMMARY: Serovars and of were cultured in the presence of homologous factor serum containing factorial antibodies (FcAbs) to their major antigens. After 39 serial passages they were then re-tested to determine whether their major antigens had remained unchanged. It was found that each parent strain had been replaced by an antigenic variant. The disappearance of each parent strain and its replacement by an antigenic variant was attributed to the selective conditions imposed by FcAbs. The antigenic variants behaved like true mutants. They lacked the major serovar antigens of the parent strains and had acquired some major antigens similar to those of two different serovars, one of which belonged to the same serogroup as the parent strain and the other to a different serogroup.

A comparison of the major antigens of the parent strains with those of their antigenic variants indicated that factorial antibodies may be used selectively to obtain antigenic variants with a predefined pattern of major antigens.


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