Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from 40 isolates of , comprising 23 serotype A1, seven serotype A2, one serotype T4, one serotype T10 and eight untypable isolates, obtained from diseased and healthy cattle or sheep, was characterized by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Ten different SDS-PAGE LPS profiles, five smooth and five rough, were identified among the biotype A and untypable isolates and designated LPS types 1–10. LPS types 1 and 2 were smooth, had similar O-antigen banding-patterns but differed in the low-molecular-mass or core-oligosaccharide regions; type 3 LPS was rough but had a core-oligosaccharide region similar to that of LPS type 1. No similarities were observed between these LPS types and types 6, 7 and 9, which were smooth, and types 4, 5, 8 and 10, which were rough. Most serotype A1 isolates (19/23) were of LPS type 1, whereas two isolates each had LPS of types 2 and 3. The majority (5/7) of serotype A2 isolates possessed type 3 LPS, whereas the remaining two isolates each had LPS of types 4 and 5. There was much greater heterogeneity within the untypable group of isolates, which comprised LPS of types 1 and 9 (two isolates each), and 6, 7, 8 or 10 (one isolate each). Western blotting analysis demonstrated that LPS types 1 and 2 had immunologically identical O-antigen side-chains but differed in their core-oligosaccharide regions, whereas the core-oligosaccharide region of rough LPS type 3 was immunologically very similar to that of LPS type 1. The other LPS types were immunologically unrelated to these three LPS types. The majority (20/23) of serotype A1 isolates originated from cattle and possessed LPS types 1 or 2, different from most (5/7) of the serotype A2 isolates which originated from sheep and possessed LPS of types 3 or 4. However, two of the three ovine serotype A1 isolates had the same type 3 LPS as occurred in most of the ovine serotype A2 isolates, suggesting a possible correlation between LPS type and host specificity. This study has demonstrated that LPS diversity within different serotypes of is greater than was previously thought and that certain LPS types might be host-specific.


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