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APMIS. 1990 Dec;98(12):1061-9.

IgG subclass antibodies to serogroup B meningococcal outer membrane antigens following infection and vaccination.

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Medical Department B, University of Bergen, Norway.


IgG and IgG subclass antibodies to the outer membrane antigens from Neisseria meningitidis (serogroup B, serotype 15:P1.16) were quantitated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in sera from 40 patients with group B:15:P1.16 meningococcal disease and 24 volunteers immunized with a serotype 15:P1.16 outer membrane vesicle vaccine. A second injection was given 6 weeks after the first immunization. Patient sera obtained two and six weeks after onset of the disease had significantly higher levels of total IgG, IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 antibodies to the outer membrane antigens than acute sera, convalescent sera from patients with systemic non-meningococcal bacterial infections and sera from healthy controls. The levels of total IgG and IgG1 remained high one and three years later. Sera from the vaccinees showed high levels of total IgG and IgG1 6, 12 and 26 weeks after the first immunization and high levels of IgG3 6 weeks after the second immunization. No increase of IgG2 or IgG4 levels was observed in the postimmunization sera. Immunoblotting of three convalescent sera demonstrated individual patterns of IgG subclass binding to various outer membrane antigens with most distinct binding of IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies to the class I protein, the H.8 lipoprotein and the lipopolysaccharide. Since IgG1 and IgG3 are the most effective antibodies for complement activation and phagocytosis, group B meningococcal disease and immunization with the serotype 15:P1.16 outer membrane vesicle vaccine stimulate production of those IgG subclasses which have the strongest opsonic and bactericidal activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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