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

Structural properties of lipopolysaccharides from Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia prowazekii and their chemical similarity to the lipopolysaccharide from Proteus vulgaris OX19 used in the Weil-Felix test.

The lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) isolated from typhus group (TG) rickettsiae Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia prowazekii were characterized by chemical analysis and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) followed by silver staining. LPSs from two species of TG rickettsiae contained glucose, 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid, glucosamine, quinovosamine, phosphate, and fatty acids (beta-hydroxylmyristic acid and heneicosanoic acid) but not heptose. The O-polysaccharides of these LPSs were composed of glucose, glucosamine, quinovosamine, and phosphorylated hexosamine. Resolution of these LPSs by their apparent molecular masses by SDS-PAGE showed that they have a common ladder-like pattern. Based on the results of chemical composition and SDS-PAGE pattern, we suggest that these LPSs act as group-specific antigens. Furthermore, glucosamine, quinovosamine, and phosphorylated hexosamine were also found in the O-polysaccharide of the LPS from Proteus vulgaris OX19 used in the Weil-Felix test, suggesting that they may represent the antigens common to LPSs from TG rickettsiae and P. vulgaris OX19.[1]


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