Characterization of the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen of Francisella novicida (U112)

Carbohydr Res. 2004 Feb 25;339(3):649-54. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2003.12.013.


Francisella novicida (U112), a close relative of the highly virulent bacterium F. tularensis, was shown to produce a lipopolysaccharide in which the antigenic O-polysaccharide component was found by chemical, 1H and 13C NMR and MS analyses to be an unbranched neutral linear polymer of a repeating tetrasaccharide unit composed of 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-galacturonamide (D-GalNAcAN) and 2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxy-D-glucose (D-Qui2NAc4NAc, di-N-acetylbacillosamine) residues (3:1) and had the structure: -->4)-alpha-D-GalNAcAN-(1-->4)-alpha-D-GalNAcAN-(1-->4)-alpha-D-GalNAcAN-(1-->3)-alpha-D-QuiNAc4NAc-(1-->. With polyclonal murine antibody, the F. novicida O-antigen did not show serological cross-reactivity with the O-antigen of F. tularensis despite the occurrence of a common -->4)-D-GalpNAcAN-(1-->4)-alpha-D-GalpNAcAN-(1--> disaccharide unit in their respective O-antigens. Thus, O-PS serology offers a practical way to distinguish between the two Francisella species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Francisella / chemistry*
  • Francisella / classification*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • O Antigens / chemistry*
  • Shigella dysenteriae / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • O Antigens