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J Clin Invest. 1987 Jul;80(1):78-87.

Specificity of antibodies against Neisseria gonorrhoeae that stimulate neutrophil chemotaxis. Role of antibodies directed against lipooligosaccharides.


Five strains each of Neisseria gonorrhoeae sensitive or resistant to complement (C) dependent killing by normal human serum (NHS) were examined for their ability to stimulate chemotaxis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) after preincubation with NHS; or IgM or IgG derived from NHS. Serum-sensitive N. gonorrhoeae stimulated C-dependent chemotaxis when opsonized with IgM, but not IgG, however, serum-resistant strains, taken as a whole, failed to promote chemotaxis when opsonized with either isotype. IgM titers in NHS against lipooligosaccharide (LOS) antigens from individual serum-sensitive, but not serum-resistant strains, correlated with the magnitude of chemotaxis generated by the corresponding opsonized strains (r = 0.99). Western blots demonstrated that IgM and IgG from NHS recognized different antigenic determinants on LOS from serum-sensitive gonococci. IgM from NHS immunopurified against serum-sensitive LOS accounted for two-thirds of the chemotaxis promoting activity present in whole serum. IgG titers in NHS against LOS antigens from individual serum-resistant strains also correlated with magnitude of chemotaxis generated by the corresponding opsonized strains (r = 0.87), although most opsonized serum-resistant strains did not generate significantly higher magnitudes of chemotaxis than controls. In contrast, a serum-resistant isolate from a patient with disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) stimulated chemotaxis when opsonized with IgG obtained from the patient's convalescent serum. By Western blot, convalescent IgG antibody recognized an additional determinant on serum-resistant LOS not seen by normal IgG.

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