The capsular network of Klebsiella pneumoniae

A. Cassone, E. Garaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attempts at improving chemical fixation for electron-microscopic observation of the capsule of K. pneumoniae were made. The capsule was preserved by using alcian blue - lanthanum and tris-(1-aziridinyl) phosphine oxide (TAPO) - aldehyde - osmium procedures. Despite the different retention of the overall capsular material and minor variations in morphological details, in both cases the interpretation of ultrastructural patterns suggested that the capsule be composed of a meshed network of thin polysaccharide fibrils radiating from the cell wall. This organization is in keeping with all recognized chemical properties of bacterial polysaccharide capsules or, at least, does not contradict them. Moreover, an effective preservation of bacterial structures other than capsule has been obtained, mostly in specimens fixed by the TAPO-aldehyde-osmium method, a fact which gives further reliability to the technical approach used for capsule visualization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-689
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology


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