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A Lipopolysaccharide Antigen of the Treponema


IMMUNOCHEMICAL studies carried out by D'Alessandro et al. 1 on a non-pathogenic, culturable treponeme, the so-called Reiter treponeme, revealed the presence of four antigenic components: (1) a thermolabile protein; (2) a specific, thermostable antigen with polysaccharide characteristics; (3) a lipoid, corresponding to the ubiquitous lipidic antigen cardiolipin; (4) another lipoid similar to the organ-specific cerebral antigen of Witebsky2. These studies led to the conclusion that the treponemes, like other organisms, are mosaics of antigens, and a safe basis was established for a better understanding of the complex serological response of the infected host.

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  1. 1

    D'Alessandro, G., Oddo, F. G., Comes, R., and Dardanoni, L., Riv. Ist. Sierot. Ital., 24, 134 (1949).

  2. 2

    Witebsky, E., Münch. med. Wochenschr., 1914 (1927).

  3. 3

    Dardanoni, L., and Censuales, S., Riv. Ist. Sierot. Ital., 32, 483 (1957).

  4. 4

    Portnoy, J., and Magnuson, H., J. Immunol., 75, 348 (1955).

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