Summary: The biochemical and chemotaxonomic properties of three previously undescribed strains from human dental root canal infections are presented. The strains were obligately anaerobic Gram-negative rods with fimbriae and a thick capsule-like structure. Carbohydrates were not fermented and agglutination tests were negative. The presence of α-galactosidase, α- and β-glucosidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase and β-galactosidase was confirmed. The strains produced acetic and succinic acids as metabolic end products. They contained a peptidoglycan structure based upon meso-diaminopimelic acid (Aly) and lacked respiratory quinones. The cellular fatty acids were mainly straight-chain saturated and methyl-branched molecules. High interstrain DNA homology was observed and the DNA base compositions were between 56 and 59 mol% G + C. These three strains appear to comprise the nucleus of a new genus of anaerobic, Gram-negative rods from odontogenic infections.
Summary: By examining the abilities of mycobacterial strains to remove amino acids from solution, differences were found between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other closely related taxa. Heterogeneity was observed in most taxa. Strains of M. bovis were examined in greater detail. By using the amino acid typing method in combination with tests routinely used for differentiating mycobacterial species, and SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole cell soluble proteins, a great degree of heterogeneity was observed in this taxon.
Summary: Colonial variants of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain P9 expressing different pili and/or outer membrane protein II (P.II) were investigated with respect to their interaction with human polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN). Two assay systems were used. A phagocytic killing assay measured the intracellular survival of gonococci, and PMN chemiluminescence (CL) was used to determine the initial surface interactions. All variants expressing P.II were killed effectively by PMN and also greatly stimulated PMN CL. The P.II− variants, on the other hand, were resistant to phagocytic killing and stimulated a much lower CL response. The presence of different P.II species was associated with different CL profiles and therefore different modes of interaction with the PMN membrane. A P.II-specific monoclonal IgG was opsonic and greatly increased PMN CL in contrast to F(ab')2 prepared from the same antibody, which inhibited it, thus confirming the role of P.II in the PMN interaction. Phagocytic killing assays revealed that with the loss of P.II, gonococcal variants acquired resistance to killing. Comparison of piliated and non-piliated pairs of variants with the same P.II profile showed that PMN–gonococcal interactions are dominated by the nature of the P.II species present whereas pili have little effect.