Dot-blot analysis of whole-cell suspensions of meningococci showed that 81% of B:15:P1.16 strains from patients reacted with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against subtype P1.7. The remaining strains, which did not react on dot-blots or in ELISA, demonstrated the P1.7 subtype epitope on immunoblots after denaturation of the cells with sodium dodecyl sulphate. The monomeric class 1 proteins of the two P1.16 subtype variants had slightly different mol. wts, but bound the P1.7 antibody equally well. These results were explained by a deletion of three codons in the gene encoding the first variable region of the P1.16 class 1 protein. The deletion accounted for the non-exposure of the P1.7 epitope on native cells. Other patient strains, with subtypes P1.3, P1.9 or without any known subtype, also showed a binding site for the P1.7 MAb, which became available only after denaturation. Demonstration of inaccessible epitopes may have consequences for subtype designations and vaccine development.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error