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Structural investigations and bacteriophage degradations of Klebsiella capsular polysaccharides Savage, Angela V.

Abstract

Seventy-seven serologically different strains of Klebsiella are known. The capsular polysaccharides which these bacteria produce are antigenic, and in order to understand the chemical basis of serological differentiation the structural investigation of the capsular polysaccharides has been undertaken. To date, fifty six structures have been determined. The structures of the capsular antigens isolated from serotypes K12 and K58 are presented here, along with confirmative data for the structure of K23 and a nuclear magnetic resonance investigation of K70 and its specific degradation products. An efficient means of isolating large quantities of the single repeating units of the Klebsiella polysaccharides using glycanase enzymes, borne and utilized by specific bacteriophage, is demonstrated. Klebsiella K21 polysaccharide has been degraded using a highly purified bacteriophage (β-galactopyranosidase activity), while Klebsiella K12 and Klebsiella K41(which have similar structures) have both been degraded using a crude solution of bacteriophage specific for Klebsiella K12 (β-galactofuranosidase activity), and results compared. A preliminary investigation of the use of high pressure liquid chromatography in the structural investigation of hetero-polysaccharides is included, along with appendices containing compilations of the structures and structural patterns of the Klebsiella capsular polysaccharides determined to date. [See thesis for diagram]

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