. Mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) raised against whole cells of strain 354 were characterised morphologically and functionally. Nine MAbs showed strong reactivity with coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). Only two MAbs were specific for CNS; both belonged to the IgG subclass, and one, MAb 36.4, reacted only with the strain used for immunisation. In immunoblotting, both CNS-specific MAbs 36.3 and 36.4 reacted strongly with cell-wall protein bands of 220 Kda of strain 354 and weak reactivity was observed with a 110-Kda band. MAb 36.3 reacted also with 220-230 Kda bands of two other strains (291 and ATCC 35984) and a 160-180 Kda band of strain 354. Only MAb 36.4 promoted phagocytosis of strain 354 by polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNL) and monocytes, whereas MAb 36.3 and the other MAbs lacked this activity. Opsonisation of with MAb 36.4 in the presence of complement enhanced uptake by PMNL, but not by monocytes. Furthermore, strain 354 opsonised with MAb 36.4 induced chemiluminescence of PMNL. Immuno-gold electronmicroscopy with both MAbs 36.3 and 36.4 demonstrated a homogeneous distribution of gold particles on the surface as well as close to the surface of .


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