The endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) of Bordetella pertussis, the agent of whooping cough, consists of a lipid A linked to a highly branched dodecasaccharide containing several acid and amino sugars. The elucidation of the polysaccharide structure was accomplished by first analyzing the structures of fragments obtained by hydrolysis and nitrous deamination and then piecing the fragments together. The fine structure of the antigenic distal pentasaccharide, presented here, was determined by chemical analyses as well as by high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. The complete structure was reconstituted and confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. The following structure was derived from the combined experimental data:The detailed structure combined with previously reported serological data now allows the synthesis of its epitopes for potential vaccines.