Investigation of spore surface antigens in the genus Bacillus by the use of polyclonal antibodies in immunofluorescence tests.J Appl Bacteriol 1988; 64(1):47-55JA
Fluorescein-conjugated rabbit antibodies to formalized spores of Bacillus anthracis were tested against strains of B. anthracis and other Bacillus species in a subjective immunofluorescence test. The lack of reaction of B. anthracis Vollum spores with conjugated antibody raised against B. anthracis Sterne spores indicated that spores of the Vollum strain lacked a major surface antigen present in most of the other anthrax strains tested, including the non-encapsulated strains Sterne and the Soviet ST1, variants cured of the pX01 plasmid that codes for the toxin, and several virulent strains. Four other antibody preparations, raised against B. anthracis Vollum, New Hampshire, Ames and Strain 15, reacted to an approximately similar degree with spores of all four strains and of Sterne, indicating that Vollum has at least one spore antigen in common with these other strains. The anti-Sterne and anti-Vollum conjugates both displayed cross-reactions with spores of strains of B. cereus, B. coagulans, B. subtilis, B. megaterium, B. polymyxa, B. pumilus and B. thuringiensis. Absorption of the anti-anthrax conjugates with B. cereus NCTC 8035 and NCTC 10320 removed all these cross-reactions, demonstrating the existence of spore antigens specific for anthrax.