The concentration of the type 5 capsular polysaccharide (CP) antigen of can be measured directly in cultures or cell suspensions by a two-step inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), using monoclonal antibodies. CP was synthesized during growth on a variety of carbon substrates and its production was not affected by the nature of the carbon source. High levels of yeast extract inhibited CP formation. CP was synthesized in batch culture at the same rate during exponential growth as in the post-exponential phase. Post-exponential CP production contributed at least half the final amount of CP measured. This phenomenon was observed in different culture media, although the specific yield of polysaccharide varied from one medium to another. Post-exponential CP production was observed in the pH range 6-7, but not at pH 8. Post-exponential production was strictly dependent on oxygen availability and did not occur under anaerobic conditions.


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