Characterization and serological classification of O-specific polysaccharide of Proteus mirabilis TG 276-90 from Proteus serogroup O34
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Introduction: Gram-negative bacteria of the genus Proteus from the family Enterobacteriaceae are currently divided into the five species P. mirabilis, P. vulgaris, P. penneri, P. hauseri, and P. myxofaciens and three unnamed Proteus genomospecies 4, 5, and 6. They are important facultative human and animal pathogens which, under favorable conditions, cause mainly intestinal and urinary tract infections, sometimes leading to serious complications such as acute or chronic pyelonephritis and the formation of bladder and kidney stones. In this study we report on the serological properties of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Proteus mirabilis TG 276-90, whose O-polysaccharide chemical structure was described earlier. Materials and Methods: LPS and alkali-treated LPS of a few serologically related Proteus strains and O-antisera against P. mirabilis TG 276-90 and CCUG 4669 (O34) were used. Serological characterization of P. mirabilis TG 276-90 O-specific polysaccharide was done using enzyme immunosorbent assay, passive immunohemolysis test (PIH), inhibition of these tests, SDS/PAGE and Western blot techniques, absorption of rabbit polyclonal O-antisera, and repeated PIH test. Results: Structural and serological investigations showed that the O-polysaccharides of P. mirabilis TG 276-90 and P. vulgaris O34 are identical and that their LPSs differ only in epitopes in the core part. Therefore these two strains could be classified into the same Proteus O34 serogroup. Conclusions: The serological data showed that the beta-D-GalpNAc-(14)-alpha-D-GalpNAc disaccharide is an important epitope of the P. mirabilis TG 276-90 and P. vulgaris O34 LPSs, shared by the P. mirabilis O16 and P. vulgaris TG 251 LPSs. It is responsible for cross-reactions with P. mirabilis TG 276-90 and P. vulgaris O34 O-antisera.
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Zygmunt Sidorczyk, Ph.D., Department of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland