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J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Jan; 23(1): 138–142.
PMCID: PMC268588

Morphological variations of Haemophilus parasuis strains.


Haemophilus parasuis strains isolated from the noses of apparently healthy animals and from animals with pathological conditions were examined for the presence of a capsule, for their ability to agglutinate in acriflavine or after boiling, and for their peptide profile after polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The capsule was identified by precipitation against hexadecyl trimethylammonium bromide (Cetavlon), by demonstration of iridescence, and by means of a capsule-staining method. We found a group of capsulated strains showing a rather coccobacillary morphology compared with the morphology with polymorphism, varying from rod-like to filamentous, in strains without detectable capsules. The strains of the latter group were agglutinated by acriflavine or by boiling. Soluble antigens of capsulated strains reacting with Cetavlon were thermostable and resisted proteolytic enzymes, thus suggesting the presence of an acidic polysaccharide. A few of the capsulated strains did not precipitate with Cetavlon, which indicated that their chemical composition was different. Acriflavine-positive strains belonging to a definite PAGE pattern (type II) seemed to be associated with pathological conditions more frequently than were capsulated strains which were mostly isolated from nasal cavities of apparently healthy pigs. We put forward the hypothesis that the agglutinability in acriflavine, together with the PAGE profile type II, may be associated with particular structures responsible for virulence.

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Selected References

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