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Structural studies on Klebsiella capsular polysaccharides Paulin, Marcel


The genus KIebsiella is divisible into approximately eighty different strains characterized on the basis of immunochemical tests. These Gram-negative bacteria produce large capsular polysaccharides which are their antigenic determinants. In order to understand the chemical basis of serological differentiation, the structural investigation of all 80 strains is taking place. Until now about fifty structures have been elucidated. The capsular antigens isolated from Klebsiella serotypes K53 and K74 are presented here and were determined using many different techniques. Methylation analysis, partial hydrolysis, and uronic acid degradation were used to study the sequential arrangement of the sugar constituents in the polysaccharide. Extensive use was made of ¹H-and ¹³C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine anomeric linkages within isolated oligosaccharides and the native polysaccharide. Methods such as gas liquid chromatography, gas liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry, paper chromatography, and polarimetry have been used to isolate and characterize products obtained from different degradative techniques. The capsular polysaccharides from Klebsiella serotypes K53 and K74 are found to consist of repeating units of the following structures: [diagram omitted].

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