Antisera, prepared against formalin-killed cells of Staphylococcus aureus, strain Copenhagen, agglutinated the cell walls of this strain. The agglutination was inhibited by the teichoic acid from the cell wall of this strain, by any degradation product of this teichoic acid which contained the α-acetylglucosaminyl-ribitol unit, by α-phenyl-acetylglucosaminide, and by N-acetylglucosamine, but not by a large number of other haptens related to the cell wall. In quantitative experiments, however, only 40 to 50 per cent of antibody adsorption to cell wall could be inhibited by teichoic acid or by N-acetylglucosamine. The α-acetylglucosaminyl-ribitol unit in the teichoic acid is, therefore, an important immunological determinant in the cell wall of this strain, although other immunological specificities may also exist.
The cell walls were also agglutinated by heterologous antisera prepared against streptococcal Group A carbohydrate or against horse serum azophenyl-ß-acetylglucosaminide. The heterologous agglutination, however, was specific for the ß-acetylglucosaminyl-ribitol units in the teichoic acid.