SUMMARY: Fifty per cent ethanol treatment removed most of the outer envelope of serotype , strain Patoc I. The trilaminar outer envelope was recovered from the 50% ethanol supernatant by raising the ethanol concentration to 90% (v/v). Five and even seven layers in the outer envelopes were seen. The 90% ethanol precipitate contained the erythrocyte-sensitizing substance (ESS). An anti-ESS serum was reactive in leptospiral agglutination, haemagglutination and in Ouchterlony's double diffusion tests. Electron microscopic examination revealed the presence of stripping and agglutination of stripped or unstripped outer envelopes of healthy Patoc I cells in the presence of anti-ESS serum. The 90% ethanol precipitate of Patoc I organisms contained polysaccharide, lipid, protein, amino sugars and 16 different amino acids. The suggestion that the genus-specific leptospiral erythrocyte-sensitizing substance is, or is associated with, the outer envelope of strain Patoc I is discussed.


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