Summary: The flagellar filaments of morphotype E isolates of Escherichia coli characteristically possess an apparent helically arranged sheath structure, surrounding the central core of the filament. Reexamination of the type strains of H-serotypes belonging to morphotype E showed that all but serotype H34 possessed the expected morphology. Heterogeneity was observed in both the diameter of filaments from individual morphotype E strains and in the M r of individual flagellins. There was no apparent correlation between these two features. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) of the IgM class were raised against serotype H12 flagella. In Western immunoblotting and agglutination tests, the MAbs recognized the H12 antigen of six isolates with different 0:K antigen combinations. The MAbs were H-serotype-specific, with no significant reaction with the H-antigens of other morphotype E strains. The location of the serotype-specific H12 epitope(s) was studied by immunolabelling with colloidal gold markers. The epitope was surface-exposed and appeared to be helically arranged on the flagellar filament. The pattern of colloidal gold labelling was consistent with the possibility that the H12 serotype-specific epitope resides in the apparent sheath structure.
Summary: The rickettsial pathogen Coxiella burnetii undergoes a variation in which virulent isolates (phase 1) become avirulent (phase 2) after repeated passage in a non-immunologically competent host. Biochemically, this variation is associated with a lipopolysaccharide modification and possibly other factors. Genetically, the regions of DNA responsible for phase variation have not been identified. We have sought to determine whether the plasmid identified in acute disease isolates, QpHl, which represents approximately 5% of the coding capacity of this organism is involved in phase variation. Plasmids from phase 1 and phase 2 variants (designated QpHl and QpH2, respectively) were compared by restriction endonuclease digestion and Southern blot hybridization to determine whether sequence changes in the phase 2 plasmid might account for changes in the virulence of phase 2 organisms compared with that of phase 1 cells. Using over 20 different restriction enzymes, no changes in DNA restriction fragment patterns were detected regardless of whether the phase change occurred during egg or tissue culture passage. The plasmid-specific mRNAs produced from metabolically active, purified cells were identical for each phase type. Using QpH1 or QpH2 DNA as a template, the mRNA produced by an E. coli extract was also identical. Finally, the proteins encoded by either plasmid in an in vitro transcription/translation reaction were identical. These data indicate that within the limits of our analysis, the plasmid DNA from C. burnetii phase variants is structurally and functionally the same and is therefore unlikely to be involved in phase variation.
Summary: Haemophilus somnus expresses two types of receptors that bind to the Fc region of bovine IgG, IgA and IgM. In this study, the relationship between these two types of Fc receptors is characterized. The high molecular mass receptors (350, 270 and 120 kDa) were secreted into the culture medium and were also in the insoluble protein fraction of the culture medium. The 41 kDa Fc receptor, which is a major outer-membrane protein, was only present in the insoluble protein fraction. Peptide mapping of the two types of Fc receptors suggests that the 41 kDa receptor is related to the high molecular mass receptor complex. Disulphide linkage is unlikely to be the mechanism of association of the 41 kDa receptor with the high molecular mass receptors since reducing agents had no effect on separating the individual receptors. Although the 41 kDa receptor is a major protein in the outer membrane of H. somnus, it does not react with convalescent bovine sera in Western blots. In contrast, convalescent bovine sera reacts intensely with the high molecular mass receptors in Western blots.
Summary: Clinical isolates of Shigella spp. were examined for their susceptibility to human serum. The susceptibility of the strains to immune and nonimmune human serum was dependent upon the size of the bacterial inoculum and the concentration of serum. There were differences among Shigella spp. in susceptibility to human serum: S. sonnei strains were the least susceptible, strains of S. boydii and S. flexneri serotype 6 were intermediate, and those of S. flexneri other than serotype 6 and S. dysenteriae were the most susceptible. Experiments in which heat-treated (56 °C for 30 min, or 50 °C for 20 min) serum was used, and analysis of activation of complement by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from each Shigella sp., suggested that LPS composition, especially the O antigen polysaccharide chains, contributes to the differences among Shigella spp. in susceptibility to human serum.
Summary: An in vitro model of the regenerative phase of the human endometrial cycle was developed in order to study the growth of Chlamydia trachomatis during the period following menses. Glandular epithelial fragments were prepared from curettings of endometria and explanted onto coated substrata. Epithelial cells migrated rapidly from the explant in a fashion which closely mimicked the regeneration of the surface epithelium after menses. The cultures were then experimentally infected with C. trachomatis serotype E at various times during formation of the outgrowth. Chlamydial inclusions developed both within the explants and in the outgrowing epithelial sheets. They were also found in isolated epithelial and non-epithelial cells. However, the most striking feature of chlamydial inclusion development within these cultures was the tendency for inclusions to be located in cells at the periphery of the epithelial sheets. This was partly due to the failure of the cells within the sheets to bind chlamydiae after centrifugation of the organisms onto the culture and partly due to a phenomenon similar to phagokinesis. During this process infectious chlamydial particles were cleared from the substratum by migrating cells with free motile edges, which occasionally led to internalization and inclusion development within these cells.
Summary: Survival rates of Salmonella dublin in rabbit serum after culture for 1 h at 37 °C were compared between a wild-type strain (5240) carrying a 50 MDa plasmid, a plasmid-cured strain (C524), and a cured strain containing the 50 MDa plasmid tagged with TnI (5241). Strain C524 was more susceptible to the bactericidal activity of normal serum than its parent strain 5240 (percentage survival < 1 % and 52.5 ± 9.2%, respectively). On the other hand, the percentage survival of strain 5241 was significantly increased (90.4 ± 4.0%), indicating that the reintroduction of the plasmid into the cured strain restored the serum resistance. Moreover, this change in the serum resistance properties correlated with changes in the neutral sugar composition of the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of these strains, suggesting that the 50 MDa plasmid is necessary for O-side chain expression in the LPS of S. dublin.