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Microb Pathog. 1990 Dec;9(6):441-50.

Antigenic similarities in lipopolysaccharides of Haemophilus and Neisseria and expression of a digalactoside structure also present on human cells.

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Oxford University Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, U.K.


Monoclonal antibodies raised against Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria gonorrhoeae were used to investigate similarities or differences in the lipopolysaccharide antigens of pathogenic and commensal strains of several Gram-negative bacteria indigenous to mucosal surfaces of humans. In immunoblotting experiments, 20 of 36 monoclonal antibodies showed cross-reactions between species of Neisseria and Haemophilus. The common epitopes were present on N. gonorrhoeae, N. meningitidis, N. lactamica, H. influenzae including biogroup aegyptius, and occasionally H. parainfluenzae. No other commensal Neisseria or Gram-negative organisms tested reacted with the monoclonal antibodies with one exception; a single strain of pathogenic Escherichia coli was recognised by a N. gonorrhoeae-specific monoclonal antibody. One monoclonal antibody, raised against N. gonorrhoeae lipopolysaccharide, reacted with N. gonorrhoeae (32 of 59 strains), N. meningitidis (9 of 26 strains), H. influenzae (6 of 16 strains). An epitope expressed by H. influenzae and implicated in its virulence was also present on 14 of 59 strains of N. gonorrhoeae and was shown to comprise a digalactoside structure, alpha-galactosyl-1,4-beta-galactose (Gal alpha 1,4Gal beta), also found on human cells.

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