Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis: A class of serum-sensitive, nontypable strains deficient in lipopolysaccharide O side chains

Robert Hancock, L. M. Mutharia, L. Chan, R. P. Darveau, D. P. Speert, G. B. Pier

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Twenty-six Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from patients with cystic fibrosis were typed by the Fisher immunotyping scheme. Only 6 strains were agglutinated by a single typing serum, whereas 15 strains were agglutinated with more than one serum and 5 were not agglutinated by any serum. Neither the polyagglutinable nor the nonagglutinable strains were typable by hemagglutination inhibition or immunodiffusion, suggesting that these polyagglutinable strains did not express multiple serotype antigens, but were instead being agglutinated by antibody to nonserotype determinants. Four typable isolates were resistant to pooled normal human serum, whereas the 12 polyagglutinable and nonagglutinable isolates studied were very sensitive to normal human serum. The outer membranes of 16 strains were isolated and characterized. The data suggested, in general, strong conservation of outer membrane protein patterns. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) were purified by a new technique which allowed isolation of both rough and smooth LPS in high yields. Three of four typable, serum-resistant strains examined had amounts of smooth, O-antigen-containing LPS equivalent to our laboratory wild type, P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain H103. In contrast, 10 of 12 polyagglutinable or nonagglutinable, serum-sensitive strains had very little or no smooth, O-antigen-containing LPS, and the oter two contained less smooth LPS than our wild-type strain H103. In agreement with this data, five independent, rough, LPS O-antigen-deficient mutants of strain H103 were nontypable and serum sensitive. We suggest that the LPS defects described here represent a significant new property of many P. aeruginosa strains associated with cystic fibrosis.

Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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