SUMMARY: Analysis by SDS-PAGE of (predominantly serotype 8), propagated in a growth medium containing 10% (v/v) foetal calf serum, revealed a complex series of polypeptides apparently free of medium contaminants. Serological analysis using an immobilized antibody reagent, and immunoblotting using a polyclonal serum, showed the presence of two major and several minor antigens. One major antigen, a putative surface component of apparent molecular mass 96 kDa was shown, with a monoclonal antibody, to be serotype-specific. Growth of the organism was partially suppressed in the presence of the antibody. The second major antigen had an apparent molecular mass of 76 kDa and was presumed to be an internal component since it failed to label with the Bolton and Hunter reagent, in contrast to the 96 kDa antigen. Another monoclonal antibody was characterized which detected the canonical urease enzyme of the organism serotype 8 and of the two other human serotypes tested. Purification of this urease antigen by affinity chromatography and electrophoretic analysis of polypeptides after denaturation revealed a single polypeptide of molecular mass 76 kDa, putatively related to the above major antigen. Enzymic activity could be recovered after purification and demonstrated by techniques only when electrophoretic analysis was done under non-denaturing conditions suggesting that the functional enzyme is a multimeric complex.


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