Summary: Five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the flagellin of were used to analyse the structural and antigenic characteristics on the bacterial flagellar surface. Immune electron microscopy showed that three protective mAbs recognized the surfaced-exposed epitopes on the flagellar filament of this bacteria. In contrast, two non-protective mAbs recognized internal epitopes of the flagellar filament. These findings have been confirmed by ELISA using mAbs absorbed with whole cells of possessing flagella. Competitive binding assays showed that protective mAbs indicated reciprocal competition, while each of the non-protective mAbs had topographically distinct epitopes. Moreover, immunoblotting analysis with cyanogen-bromide-cleaved flagellin showed that protective mAbs may preferentially recognize conformational epitopes, whilst one of the non-protective mAbs may recognize a linear and conformation-independent epitope in the flagellin of


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