SUMMARY: The role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the susceptibility of and to non-immune human serum was investigated using serum-sensitive strains of both enterobacteria. LPS from serum-resistant strains of and could activate and completely remove the serum bactericidal activity, and also showed dose-dependent anti-complement activity. These properties were mainly due to the high-molecular-mass LPS: the low-molecular-mass LPS from serum-resistant strains of and had only a slight effect on the serum bactericidal activity, and showed only low anti-complement activity, even at high concentration. The results suggest that LPS composition, especially the O-antigen polysaccharide chains, contributes to the susceptibility of and strains to complement-mediated serum bactericidal activity.


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