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Serological studies of Bacteroides fragilis

  • K. M. Elhag (a1), K. A. Bettelheim (a1) and Soad Tabaqchali (a1)

Using direct agglutination methods, a simple serological scheme for the classification of Bacteroides fragilis is described. Twenty strains of B. fragilis were selected by a process of successive screening from 151 strains obtained from various sources. O-antigens were prepared from the 20 strains, and used to raise antisera in rabbits.

Each of the 20 antisera reacted with its homologous antigen and eight antisera cross-reacted with other subspecies. These cross-reactions were successfully removed after absorption of the antisera with the cross-reacting antigens, resulting in 19 type-specific antisera, titres ranging from 40 to 320, and 19 distinct serotypes of B. fragilis. There was no correlation between the antigenic and the biochemical characteristics of these strains and no cross-reactions occurred with other gram-negative anaerobes, B. melaninogenicus, Sphaerophorus necrophorus and Fuso-bacterium necrogenes.

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S. L. Gorbach & J. G. Bartlett (1974). Anaerobic infections. New England Journal of Medicine 290, 1237–45.

D. L. Kasper (1976). Chemical and biological characterization of the lipopolysaccharide of Bacteroides fragilis subspecies fragilis. Journal of Infectious Diseases 134, 5966.

F. Kauffmann (1944). Untersuchungen über die Körper-Antigene der Coli-Bakterien. Acta Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica 21, 4664.

A. A. B. Mitchell (1973). Incidence and isolation of Bacteroides species from clinical material and their sensitivity to antibiotics. Journal of Clinical Pathology 26, 738–41.

H. Werner (1972). A serological study of strains belonging to Sphaerophorus necrophorus, Sph. varius and Sph. freundii. Medical Microbiology and Immunology 157, 315–24.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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