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Infect Immun. 1985 Feb;47(2):353-9.

Lipopolysaccharide characteristics of pathogenic campylobacters.


Most Campylobacter jejuni strains are sensitive and most Campylobacter fetus strains are resistant to the bactericidal activity in normal human serum. We purified lipopolysaccharides from Campylobacter strains to determine whether their composition and structure relate to serum susceptibility. The lipopolysaccharide of two serum-sensitive strains was best isolated by the Galanos procedure, but for two serum-resistant strains a cold-ethanol extraction was optimal. For each lipopolysaccharide preparation, the ratio of 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate to protein was increased by 100 to 1,000-fold over that of whole cells. For serum-resistant strains, total carbohydrates was a high proportion of lipopolysaccharide weight; for serum-sensitive strains, 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanate was a high proportion of total carbohydrates. By polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the lipopolysaccharide of serum-sensitive strains appeared rough, but for serum-resistant strains a smooth-type ladder was seen, with a minimal core region and several high-molecular-weight complexes. Proteinase K-treated whole-cell lysates showed polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis profiles similar to that of pure lipopolysaccharide. Proteinase K-treated whole-cell lysates from seven serum-sensitive C. jejuni strains all had rough profiles, and five serum-resistant C. fetus strains all had smooth profiles. These studies indicate that lipopolysaccharide composition may be an important determinant of serum susceptibility among Campylobacter species and that serum resistance is usually associated with a smooth-type lipopolysaccharide.

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