SUMMARY: We have previously described a surface oligosaccharide antigen (epitope C) present in fresh isolates of and in variants grown in subcutaneous chambers, but poorly formed by variants repeatedly subcultured We have now investigated the presence of antibodies to epitope C in sera from normal individuals and from patients with gonorrhoea. Sera were analysed by Western blotting and ELISA, and compared with a pool of sera from normal individuals with no known history of gonorrhoea. Antigenic extracts and monoclonal antibody to the C epitope were used for competition and inhibition studies. Only the sera from patients contained antibodies to epitope C. Antibodies to several other gonococcal antigens were found in sera from patients, and also in normal sera. Collectively, the results indicate that epitope C is expressed in humans, that patients with gonorrhoea develop antibodies to it, and that such antibodies are absent in sera of normal individuals.


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