SUMMARY: Outer envelopes of strains P18A and VS1 were prepared and characterized by SDS-PAGE. In Western blot analysis of eleven strains of and two intestinal non-pathogenic spirochaetes, polyclonal antiserum raised to the outer envelopes of strain P18A contained antibodies primarily to two polypeptides. A 45 kDa polypeptide was present in only two strains of , P18A and MC52/80, whereas another antigen of 16 kDa was common to all eleven strains of but was not present in the two non-pathogens. Immunogold labelling of whole organisms suggested that the 16 kDa antigen was present on the surface of the spirochaetes. In tests the serum agglutinated and inhibited growth of only the strains, suggesting that antibodies to the 16 kDa antigen were responsible for these activities. Serum from a gnotobiotic pig infected with strain P18A had antibodies to the 16 kDa antigen alone and also possessed agglutinating and growth-inhibitory activities.


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