The type specific immunological properties of certain non-hemolytic streptococci, including Str. salivarius type I and type II, present in the respiratory tract of human beings appear to be dependent upon the presence of capsular polysaccharides.
The levans formed from sucrose by Str. salivarius (encapsulated S cells or non-encapsulated R variants), or by cell-free enzymes derived from these microorganisms, are indistinguishable immunologically and show no evidence of type specificity. Such levans appear to be immunologically distinct from and unrelated to the capsular polysaccharides of the microorganisms which produce them.