The core oligosaccharide structure of the in vivo derived rough phenotype of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida was investigated by a combination of compositional, methylation, CE-MS and one- and two-dimensional NMR analyses and established as the following: [carbohydrate: see text] where R=alpha-D-Galp-(1-->4)-beta-D-GalpNAc-(1--> or alpha-D-Galp-(1--> (approx. ratio 4:3). Comparative CE-MS analysis of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida core oligosaccharides from strains A449, 80204-1 and an in vivo rough isolate confirmed that the structure of the core oligosaccharide was conserved among different isolates of A. salmonicida.