, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 29-34

The wall associated lipoteichoic acid ofStreptococcus sanguis

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A competitive ELISA is described for the measurement of lipoteichoic acid. The assay was used to determine the wall associated lipoteichoic acid ofStreptococcus sanguis which was found to represent only 2–4% of the phenol extractable content. Extracellular lipoteichoic acid was detected even after exhaustive cell washing. This material was not the result ofde novo synthesis because membrane de-polarization had no effect on the amount detected. Since extracellular lipoteichoic acid interfered with the measurement of cell surface antigen, cells were fixed with glutaraldehyde prior to assay. Lipoteichoic acid was demonstrated on the surface of fixed cells which did not leak antigen. The relevance of fixation used in antigen location studies by electron microscopy of immune-labelled cells is discussed.