The trypsinized cell walls of Group C hemolytic streptococci are composed of the specific carbohydrate antigen and a mucopeptide matrix. Certain phage resistant strains of Group C streptococci, isolated from organisms which survive exposure to Group C bacteriophage also possess carbohydrate and mucopeptide fractions, but the carbohydrate gives a precipitin reaction with Group A-variant antiserum and not with Group C antiserum. These strains have been termed Group C-variant. The C-variant carbohydrate contains 86 per cent rhamnose and only 2 per cent galactosamine, and is thus chemically and immunologically similar to Group A-variant carbohydrate. The evidence suggests that the antigenic determinants of Groups A-variant and C-variant carbohydrates are rhamnose-rhamnose linkages. These results strongly support the hypothesis that the carbohydrates of Groups A and C streptococci are composed of a similar rhamnose moiety but that the determinant amino sugar terminal to the rhamnose-rhamnose linkages in the case of Group A is N-acetylglucosamine whereas that of Group C is N-acetylgalactosamine.

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