SUMMARY: Of fifty strains of from human infections, seven of the ‘vulgaris’ and forty-three of the ‘mirabilis’ fermentative type, forty-four were brought into Belyavin's phase A. which represents the modal S form of recently-isolated strains, and analysed serologically by their H and O antigens. Three of the six remaining strains were irreversibly R. and three were too unstable antigemcally for the routine analysis.

The antigens determining the somatic O types were resistant to heating at 95°, to ethanol and to dilute HCl, treatments that destroyed the H antigens. Serologically similar O antigens were extracted from the bacilli by hot formamide and by ethanol precipitation of tryptie digests.

As in other recent surveys of Proteus serology, the classification of strains by major O antigens was more clear-cut than by H antigens, though some minor O antigens were distributed differently from the major. The forty-four phase-A strains fell into eighteen O-antigenic types, three of these being the classical OX2, OX19 and OXK types, strains of which were included in the survey. The H antigens of each strain were often apparently multiple. but grouping by major H antigens was broader than by O antigens; moreover. H antigens were often common to strains with dissimilar O antigens.

Apart from the antigenic changes accompanying variation from phase A to phases B or C, there were suggestions of other phasic variations in both H and O antigens, which, if substantiated, may necessitate a reconsideration of serological classifications of the group. The three unstable strains in the collection could not be definitely assigned to any O-antigenie type.


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