Immunological detection of Bacteroides fragilis in clinical-samples

Sheila Patrick, L.D. Stewart, N. Damani, K.G. Wildson, D.A. Lutton, Mike Larkin, I. Poxton, R. Brown

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22 Citations (Scopus)


A monospecific polyclonal antiserum, prepared against Bacteroides fragilis common polysaccharide antigen purified by polyacrylamide gel immunoblot detected B. fragilis, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. ovatus and Prevotella melaninogenica in pus samples from various anatomical sites by immunofluorescence microscopy of the pus. With standard clinical laboratory culture methods, 36% of 147 samples were positive for one or more of the above bacteria. Of these, B. fragilis accounted for 33%. By immunofluorescent labelling of pus with the common antigen antiserum the detection of these bacteria in the samples increased to 50%. All nine of the blood cultures in which B. fragilis was detected by culture contained bacteria positive for the common antigen. Immunofluorescent labelling of pus samples with a selection of monoclonal antibodies specific for surface polysaccharides which are known to be antigenically variable in culture in vitro and in an animal model of infection showed that these polysaccharides are also variable in natural infection. The results indicate that the common polysaccharide antigen, in contrast to the variable surface polysaccharides, is a suitable target for the immunodetection of B, fragilis in clinical samples from a range of anatomical sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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