Summary: The virulence of is known to depend on the presence and on the quality of smooth-type O side-chains in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We have studied the effect on virulence of O side-chain modifications – O factors 5, 1, 12 and 27 which correspond to acetyl or glucosyl side-branches or a change in the linkage between repeating oligosaccharide units of the LPS (27). The LD50 values of sister strains with and without these factors did not differ significantly, nor could we detect selection during mouse passage for or against forms possessing a variable O factor except perhaps in the case of factor 27. These O side-chain modifications thus appear neutral in respect of virulence.


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