The surface antigens of conferring erythrocyte-binding activity were obtained by adsorption onto formaldehyde-treated dog and goat erythrocytes from supernatant fractions of sonicated bacteria and elution using a high concentration of NaCl. The desorbed material was analysed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting with anti-whole-cell serum to agar-grown bacteria which had been absorbed with broth-grown, non-haemagglutinating cells (haemagglutination-associated antiserum). Two polypeptides with molecular masses of 25 and 59 kDa were revealed as erythrocyte-binding antigens. Strains which agglutinated both dog and goat erythrocytes possessed both these erythrocyte-binding antigens, whereas an antigenically cross-reactive 24 kDa polypeptide was present in a strain which only agglutinated goat erythrocytes. Haemagglutinin material was extracted from using -octylglucopyranoside and purified by Sepharose chromatography and sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation. The purified extract directly agglutinated erythrocytes in a neuraminyl-lactose-sensitive and neuraminidase-sensitive manner. The 59 kDa polypeptide was not present in the purified haemagglutinin preparation. The haemagglutination-associated antiserum reacted strongly with the 25 kDa polypeptide band which was the most prominent polypeptide band on analysis of the purified haemagglutinin preparation by SDS-PAGE and silver staining. Thus, possesses at least two adhesins, one of which recognises a -acetylneuraminic acid (α2–3) moiety of receptors, the other being of unknown receptor specificity. Differences in the antigenicity and molecular masses of these adhesins in individual strains may underlie differences in receptor-binding specificities and haemagglutination profiles.


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