Summary: The surface exposure of computer-predicted, linear B-cell epitopes on the major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) serovar B was assessed using antibodies raised against synthetic peptides in conjunction with immunogold transmission electron microscopy. Several of the chosen peptides elicited antibodies which reacted with both denatured and native MOMP. The majority of the exposed epitopes were found within the variable segments of MOMP. For each of the epitopes identified, the extent of their surface accesssibility varied both among individual organisms and different developmental forms. Evidence for two distinct subspecies-specific epitopes within VS4 is presented.


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