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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sialic acid levels and lag time of growth in chemically defined medium containing 200 mM phosphate among strains of various serotypes of Streptococcus agalactiae.

The type-specific capsular polysaccharide antigen of Streptococcus agalactiae has in previous experimental studies been considered a significant antiphagocytic factor, whereas the lipoteichoic acid moiety has been suggested to be a factor in adherence to human fetal cell lines. Since epidemiological data concerning these cell constituents in strains from the genital tract are lacking, we attempted serotyping and analysis of these constituents of 100 vaginal isolates. The capsular polysaccharide level was shown to be the amount of sialic acid that occupied the terminal side chains of the polysaccharide. We carried out a study to ascertain whether strains exhibited a lag time of growth in a chemically defined medium containing 200 mM phosphate, which has been suggested to be characteristic of strains with high lipoteichoic acid levels. Strains were classified, on the basis of the results of distribution of sialic acid levels, into three categories: (i) strains with a low sialic acid content of equal to or less than 9 micrograms/mg of cell dry weight; (ii) strains with a moderate sialic acid content of more than 9 but less than 12 micrograms/mg of cell dry weight; and (iii) strains with a high sialic acid content of equal to or more than 12 micrograms/mg of cell dry weight. Strains that belonged to the last category, which, as previous experimental data indicate, are potentially virulent strains, were significantly distributed among isolates of types Ia (P less than 0.001) and III (P less than 0.05). On the other hand, strains exhibiting a lag time of growth in the above-mentioned medium were detected to a significant extent in type III isolates (P <0.02). These results may be related to the epidemiological finding that isolates from neonates with late-onset infection were more frequently serotype Ia and III isolates.[1]


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