Summary: Nonbactericidal monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against gonococcal surface antigens were examined for their effect on complement-mediated bactericidal killing by other MAbs and normal human serum. One MAb, SM73, directed against the H.8 antigen activated complement only moderately well and had little influence on bactericidal antibodies. Two antibodies directed against an epitope on protein III had very different effects. Antibody SM51 activated complement poorly and had no effect on bactericidal killing, whereas antibody SM50, although itself nonbactericidal, activated complement and blocked the bactericidal effect of other antibodies. The extent of the blocking ability of MAb SM50 was studied using MAbs of different specificities as well as polyclonal antisera raised aginst gonococcal surface antigens. Antibody SM50 blocked IgG MAbs of all specificities, but several MAbs of the IgM class retained their bactericidal effect. Each of these IgM MAbs reacted with lipopolysaccharide, but with different epitopes.


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