Detection of intrastrain antigenic variation of Bacteroides fragilis surface polysaccharides by monoclonal antibody labelling

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Bacteroides fragilis is a constituent of the normal resident microbiota of the human intestine and is the gram-negative obligately anaerobic bacterium most frequently isolated from clinical infection. Surface polysaccharides are implicated as potential virulence determinants. We present evidence of within strain immunochemical variation of surface polysaccharides in populations that are noncapsulate by light microscopy as determined by monoclonal antibody labelling. Expression of individual epitopes can be enriched from a population of an individual strain by use of immunomagnetic beads. Also, individual colonies in which either >94% or 94% of the bacteria carry a given epitope, there is no enrichment for other epitopes recognized by different polysaccharide-specific monoclonal antibodies. This intrastrain variation has important implications for the development of potential vaccines or immunodiagnostic tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4346-51
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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