The group reactive, water soluble polysaccharide antigens of the organisms of psittacosis, lymphogranuloma venereum and trachoma were chemically characterized. An acidic polysaccharide of large molecular weight was purified by DEAE-cellulose column chromatography. Its antigenic activity was destroyed both by periodate (0.005 M) and by mild acid hydrolysis (0.1 N sulfuric acid at 80°C for 1 hr). An acidic component, which separated from the rest of the polysaccharide by mild acid hydrolysis, gave a positive thiobarbituric acid test and negative resorcinol test characteristic of 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanoic acid. On paper chromatography its behavior was similar to but not identical with that of 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanoic acid from Salmonella lipopolysaccharides. The ease with which antigenicity was destroyed by periodate and mild acid hydrolysis suggests that this acidic component is critical for antigenicity.

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