SUMMARY: The serological specificities of lipopolysaccharides obtained from representatives of each of the five serological groups of have been examined by haemagglutination methods. At concentrations of 500 μg./ml. solutions of the lipopolysaccharides failed to give full sensitization of erythrocytes, but after treatment with alkali full sensitization was obtained at concentrations in the range of 50 to 3 μg./ml. By using antisera prepared in rats by immunization with living , the capacity of each ‘Smooth’ lipopolysaccharide to inhibit the agglutination of sensitized erythrocytes by each group antiserum was determined. Absolute group specificity was found by this method. It is considered that the lipopolysaccharides bear the specificity of the somatic antigens on which the serological grouping of the species is based. ‘Smooth’ lipopolysaccharides failed to inhibit the agglutination by antisera of erythrocytes sensitized with lipopolysaccharide, but inhibition of this system was obtained with lipopolysaccharides of ‘Rough’ strains derived from various serological groups. These ‘Rough’ lipopolysaccharides were closely related serologically to one another and to the product but were not identical in specificity. It is considered that in Smooth strains the ‘Smooth’ somatic antigen does not overlie a ‘Rough’ somatic antigen.


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