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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2000 Nov;29(3):169-76.

Genetic and immunologic characterization of a novel serotype 4, 15 strain of Neisseria meningitidis.

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Division of Bacterial Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The porin proteins of Neisseria meningitidis are important components of outer membrane protein (OMP) vaccines. The class 3 porin gene, porB, of a novel serogroup B, serotype 4, 15 isolate from Chile (Ch501) was found to be VR1-4, VR2-15, VR3-15 and VR4-15 by porB variable region (VR) typing. Rabbit immunization studies using outer membrane vesicles revealed immunodominance of individual PorB (class 3) VR epitopes. The predominant anti-Ch501 PorB response was directed to the VR1 epitope. Anti-PorB VR1 mediated killing was suggested by the bactericidal activity of Ch501 anti-sera against a type 4 strain not expressing PorA or class 5 OMPs. Studies that examine the molecular epidemiology of individual porB VRs, and the immune responses to PorB epitopes, may contribute to the development of broadly protective group B meningococcal vaccines.

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