Summary: The role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the susceptibility of strains of serotype O:34 to non-immune human serum was investigated using isogenic mutants (serum-sensitive), previously obtained on the basis of phage resistance, and characterized for their surface components. The classical complement pathway was found to be principally involved in the serum-killing of these sensitive strains. LPS preparations from serum-resistant or serum-sensitive strains, or purified core oligosaccharides (low-molecular-mass LPS) inactivated both bactericidal and complement activity of whole serum, while the O-antigen molecules (high-molecular-mass LPS) did not. The results indicate that LPS core oligosaccharide composition contributes to complement resistance of strains from serotype O:34 with moderate virulence.


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