A Group A variant-like antigen has been detected in streptococci belonging to Groups D, E, G, M, and N. In Groups D and N the variant-like antigen was located in the streptococcal cell walls.
In two strains of Group N streptococci (C559 and B209) the cell walls were chemically different and serologically distinct. In strain C559 N-acetylgalactosamine, and in strain B209, N-acetylglucosamine were the major determinants of serological specificity.
The cell walls of strain C559 contained at least three serologically reactive components: a rhamnose-containing fraction that precipitated with an antiserum to Group A-variant carbohydrate; a strain-specific polysaccharide composed of galactosamine and glucosamine, both in the N-acetylated form and probably polymerized with an unidentified phosphorylated substance; and a component of unknown composition serologically related to a Group D streptococcus strain C3 (S. durans). An analogy is drawn between the cell wall structure in streptococcus and Salmonella.