JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Role of capsule and O antigen in resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae to serum bactericidal activity.

The ability of Klebsiella pneumoniae strains to resist the bactericidal activity of serum was quantitated. The K. pneumoniae strains tested included mutants lacking the capsular polysaccharide and mutants having a modified lipopolysaccharide structure. The last mutants were obtained as phage-resistant mutants, and their lipopolysaccharide was characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and chemical analysis. Serum-resistant mutants derived from phage-resistant mutants (lipopolysaccharide mutants) were also characterized. Resistance to the bactericidal activity of complement was mediated by the lipopolysaccharide, especially by the O-antigen polysaccharide chains. The capsular polysaccharide seemed not to play any important role in resistance to serum bactericidal activity in this bacterium.

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