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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005 Jan 1;43(1):45-50.

Characterization and immunogenicity of Kingella kingae outer-membrane proteins.

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Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84101, Israel.


In recent years, Kingella kingae has emerged as an important pediatric pathogen but the antigenicity of the organism and the host immune response have not been studied. Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of 57 K. kingae isolates were characterized and the immune response of 19 children with invasive infections was studied by immunoblotting. Kingella kingae OMPs were remarkably similar disregarding place and time of isolation and associated clinical condition (asymptomatic carriage, bacteremia, endocarditis, septic arthritis or osteomyelitis). Most OMPs were immunogenic but the specific bands that reacted in each strain and the intensity of the reactions varied substantially. When convalescent sera were reacted with heterologous strains, bands that either were not recognized by the homologous serum or were not present in the homologous strain were visualized. These results demonstrate that OMPs of K. kingae are highly conserved but suggest that some epitopes are polymorphic, resulting in a variable pattern of immune response.

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