SUMMARY: Three serologically distinct red cell-sensitizing antigens were identified in lactobacilli. Two possessed the serological specificity of the streptococcal Hickey (polyglycerophosphate) and 44 sensitizing antigens. All resembled the streptococcal antigens in physical properties and in being excreted, sometimes in considerable amount. They were extracted from intact bacteria by a variety of procedures and were thought to have an intramural location. The Hickey antigen was present in sufficient concentration on the cell wall surface of certain strains to take part in bacterial agglutination reactions. The relationship of sensitizing antigen distribution to various taxonomic parameters of the lactobacilli is considered.


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