SUMMARY: The sugar composition of cell walls of various streptococci and pneumococci was investigated by paper chromatography. Rhamnose was found in the walls of most streptococci bearing Lancefield group haptens but was not identified in the walls of pneumococci or most ‘viridans’ streptococci. In the group as a whole galactose and glucose were more regularly present than rhamnose. A significant correlation was found between the distribution of rhamnose and haemagglutination pattern, as determined by the presence of a widely distributed red cell sensitizing antigen and the production of an agent capable, like the receptor-destroying enzyme of the influenza virus, of modifying the antigenic properties of the red-cell surface.


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