The existence of epitopes common to different strains in the transferrin (Tf)-binding protein 2 (TBP2), combined with the ability of polyclonal anti-TBP2 antibodies to inhibit Tf binding and block iron uptake in this species, led to this study on the effect of anti-TBP1+2 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to determine the presence of epitopes inside the Tf-binding region. All MAbs used reacted exclusively with the homologous strain when tested by dot-blots of outer membrane vesicles, with the reaction being specific for TBP2 after SDS-PAGE and electroblotting. In contrast, ELISA and iron-uptake blocking assays were also positive with heterologous strains belonging to Rokbi's group II (high mol.wt TBP2). The results confirmed the two group classification proposed by Rokbi and, in contrast to other studies, indicated the existence of epitopes in the Tf-binding region that are common only to strains of Rokbi's group II. These epitopes may become denatured after drying for dot-blot assays or after SDS-PAGE and electroblotting.


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