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Immunology. 1987 Aug;61(4):527-33.

Characterization of an antigen secreted by Chlamydia-infected cell culture.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


A soluble genus-specific chlamydial antigen has been isolated from the supernatants of cultures infected with Chlamydia trachomatis and from other sources. The antigen is a glycolipid that is secreted during the infective cycle. This exoglycolipid can be hydrolysed and fractionated into polysaccharide and lipid components. Both fractions retain antigenic activity. An immunodominant antigenic determinant of the lipid component contains fatty acids of C17 and C18:1. The polysaccharide immunodominant epitope gives rise to gulose when derivatives are formed. The secretion of the antigen into the media supernatant, the presence of gulose and the observed molecular weight are consistent with properties of alginate secreted by Gram-negative bacteria. Chemical analyses and SDS-PAGE indicate that the exoglycolipid is markedly different from LPS.

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