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Mol Microbiol. 1999 Jun;32(6):1133-9.

Mechanisms of neisserial serum resistance.

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Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


Pathogenic Neisseria use a variety of mechanisms to survive the bactericidal action of the complement system. Serum resistance is a crucial virulence factor for the development of severe meningococcal disease, meningococcal meningitis and disseminated gonococcal infection. Furthermore, local inflammation at the site of gonococcal infection exposes the bacteria to moderate concentrations of complement factors. We review current concepts of neisserial serum resistance with emphasis on porins and polysaccharides exposed on the neisserial surface and their interaction with components of normal human serum.

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