Biological activities of fragments derived from Bordetella pertussis endotoxin: isolation of a nontoxic, Shwartzman-negative lipid A possessing high adjuvant properties

Infect Immun. 1980 Mar;27(3):739-45. doi: 10.1128/iai.27.3.739-745.1980.


Endotoxin from fresly sedimented Bordetella pertussis cells, isolated by the phenol/water procedure when submitted to kinetically controlled, mild acidic hydrolysis released a polysaccharide (polysaccharide 1), a complex lipid (lipid X), and a glycolipid. When treated with somewhat stronger acid, the glycolipid yielded a second polysaccharide (polysaccharide 2) and another complex lipid (lipid A). The intact pertussis endotoxin had all the usual properties of endotoxins extracted from enteric bacteria. Lipid X and the intermediary glycolipid retained all the endotoxic properties of the unfractionated endotoxin. In lipid A, pyrogenicity was reduced to a very low level and toxicity and Shwartzman reactivity were absent; however, this fraction retained most of the endotoxin's antiviral activity, and its adjuvant power was considerably higher than that of the intact endotoxin. Lipid A elicited nonspecific resistance against challenge with certain bacteria, but not against others.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic*
  • Bacterial Toxins / analysis
  • Bordetella pertussis*
  • Endotoxins / analysis*
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Lipid A / immunology
  • Lipid A / isolation & purification
  • Lipid A / pharmacology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Shwartzman Phenomenon
  • Viruses / drug effects*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Endotoxins
  • Lipid A
  • Lipopolysaccharides