Summary: New CDC O14:H12 contains major outer membrane proteins of 435 kDal, 42 kDal (the porins) and 38 kDal (the OmpA protein) which can be separated by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Immunoblotting of whole cell or outer membrane preparations using antiserum raised against the whole cells revealed similar complex patterns of antigens. The OmpA protein was the major immunogen, although six other outer membrane proteins were also detected; the porins reacted only weakly with antibodies in this system. Immunoabsorption of antisera with whole cells showed that only the O antigenic chains of lipopolysaccharide and the H (flagella) antigens were accessible to antibody on the cell surface. Failure to detect the OmpA protein and other envelope antigens in this way suggests that their antigenic sites are not able to react with antibodies and are possibly masked by the O antigen.


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