SUMMARY: Sera of rabbits immunized with pili or formalized cultures of contained pili antibodies. The reaction between pili and specific gamma globulin was followed by direct visual observation with an electron microscope. Using pili from 31 strains and antisera against three strains, only a few cross-reactions between pili were observed. From this it is concluded that gonococcal pili are antigenically heterogeneous. However, serum raised with a T3 culture (with no detectable pili) contained antibodies against pili of the homologous T2 strain. It is proposed that the pilus antigen may exist in a form different from the typical pilus in gonococci.


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