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Microb Pathog. 1988 Apr;4(4):289-97.

Gonococcal variants selected by growth in vivo or in vitro have antigenically different LPS.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was extracted from two variants of strain gc40 of Neisseria gonorrhoeae obtained by repeated subculture in vitro or by growth in vivo in a subcutaneous chamber. Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by silver stain analysis revealed that both variants had three main LPS components, but the large size components were predominant in gonococci selected in vivo and the smallest size in those selected in vitro. Western blotting, ELISA and ELISA inhibition using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies showed that the two variants had antigenically different LPS and that serum sensitivity may be due to the antigenic specificity of the large components. These results indicate that during infection clones of gonococci are selected with LPS of antigenic and physicochemical composition different from those seen after repeated subcultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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