Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (H. aegyptius) has been identified as the etiologic agent of the recently described disease Brazilian purpuric fever (BPF). Although there is heterogeneity among the strains associated with conjunctivitis, isolates from patients with BPF appear to be derived from a single clone. The clinical presentation of BPF suggests that bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are involved in its pathogenesis. We prepared LPS from H. influenzae biogroup aegyptius and found them to be similar to H. influenzae type b LPS in apparent size (by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis), biological activities, and fatty acid composition. We compared LPS from BPF clone isolates with LPS from non-BPF clone isolates in tests of Limulus lysate activation, spleen cell mitogenesis, promotion of neutrophil adherence to LPS-treated endothelial cells, and the dermal Shwartzman reaction. In none of these activities were LPS from the BPF clone isolates more potent. Because LPS shed from growing bacteria may be involved in the pathogenesis of purpura, we also measured the rate at which LPS were released into culture medium during bacterial growth and found no significant difference between BPF clone and non-BPF clone isolates
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