SUMMARY: Both wall and membrane teichoic acids from NCIB 8025 are glycerol phosphate polymers partially substituted with α-D-glucosyl residues. The membrane teichoic acid, isolated as a complex with lipid (lipoteichoic acid), was antigenic when injected into rabbits with Freund's adjuvant. The α-D-glucosyl substituents are primarily responsible for the serological specificity of the membrane antigen, and account for the reaction of wall teichoic acid with antisera to the membrane teichoic acid. Glycerol teichoic acids either differing in or lacking sugar substitution may cross-react and the significance of these observations is discussed.


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