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J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Jun;133(6):1409-18.

Inter-strain homology of pilin gene sequences in Neisseria meningitidis isolates that express markedly different antigenic pilus types.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Liverpool, UK.


Neisseria meningitidis isolates examined in this study elaborated one of two pilus types that were antigenically markedly different. Each pilus type reacted either with SM1, a monoclonal antibody that recognizes an epitope common to all gonococcal pili, or with a polyclonal antiserum raised against meningococcal pili that did not react with SM1, but not both. Total genomic DNA from all N. meningitidis isolates analysed, irrespective of pilus type, contained at least one region with extensive homology to a gonococcal pilE probe. Different N. meningitidis strains possessed one of several configurations of genomic pilE-homologous segments. Chromosomal rearrangement of pilE-homologous sequences was associated with P+ to P- pilus phase transition in the strains examined. The arrangement of pilE-homologous segments in total genomic DNA from N. meningitidis isolated from the blood and cerebro-spinal fluid of the same patient was apparently identical.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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