A Comparison of the Phenol Water and Rantz and Randall Teichoic Acid Antigens in Group H Streptococci
The Group H antigen which is found in most strains of Streptococcus sanguis is usually extracted by the Rantz and Randall (RR) autoclave method (1). Previous studies had suggested that this antigen was a glycerol teichoic acid (2). Although the RR extracts of a variety of streptococcal Lancefield groups indicated the specificity of the Group H antigen (3), a reaction of identity was obtained when phenol water (PW) preparations of Group D streptococci were tested against Group H antisera (1); Group D antisera did not show this cross reaction with either PW or RR extracts of Group H organisms. These results suggested that the RR and PW extractions affected the cells differently. Both of these methods are important starting points in many procedures for antigen purification and for serological identification. Although the PW method is known to disrupt both covalent and non-covalent bonds (4), the effect of the RR extraction on cells is still the subject of much debate. Moreover, though PW extracts are known to solubilize membrane associated lipoteichoic acids (LTA), the effects on other cell surface components are not known (5–8). The structures affected by the RR procedure have still not been identified.
KeywordsTeichoic Acid Cell Wall Polymer Phenol Water Cell Surface Component Wall Teichoic Acid
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