SUMMARY: A comparison has been made between the chemical composition of the cell walls of strains from the genera and and the antigenic composition of the same cell-wall fractions as judged by an agglutination test. A common antigenic component was identified in all those strains of corynebacteria, mycobacteria and nocardias which have arabinose and galactose as their principal cell-wall sugars. Some strains of corynebacteria, and 3 strains of which have a different pattern of cell-wall components, appear to lack this cell-wall antigen. The antigen was not present in the cell walls of 8 strains of actinomyces and 6 of arthrobacter. Seven of the 8 strains of actinomyces had a cell-wall composition identical with that previously described for and these 7 strains formed a homogeneous group serologically: the other actinomyces strain differed in cell-wall wall composition and its cell walls did not agglutinate with the ‘israelii’ serum, nor did those of any of the 6 strains of arthrobacter, although some of the latter resemble in cell-wall structure. These results show that the antigenic studies tended to confirm relationships suggested by cell-wall composition alone, especially among corynebacteria, nocardias and mycobacteria: they also suggest that as at present constituted is a mixture of species of diverse origin.


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