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FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1988 Dec;1(3):139-44.

Definition of meningococcal class 1 OMP subtyping antigens by monoclonal antibodies.

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National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Department of Bacterial Vaccine Development, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


The subtypes of meningococci are defined by antigenic determinants on the class 1 outer membrane proteins. The established subtypes, designated by P1 and a number according to the prototype reference strain on which they were first recognized by monoclonal antibodies, includes P1.2, P1.9, P1.15 and P1.16. We have investigated more prototype reference strains, using new monoclonal antibodies, and identified the new subtypes P1.1, P1.6 and P1.1,16. The P1.1,16 epitope is found on both the P1.1 and the P1.16 reference strains, but not on all P1.1 and P1.16 strains and can occur independently from the P1.1 and the P1.16 epitopes. It appears that class 1 outer membrane proteins contain at least two independent subtype-specific epitopes. For clarity, we now redefine P1.1,16 as P1.7, permitting thus the identification of strains of P1.1, P1.1,7, P1.7, P1.7,16 and P1.16 subtypes. It can clearly be expected that more class 1 outer membrane protein determinants will be recognized as more monoclonal typing antibodies are produced. The monoclonal antibodies now available to us can subtype 80-90% of group B and C meningococci; they also react with group A meningococci, but not with other Neisseriae. The immunological dissection of these subtyping antigens will improve our understanding of the relationship between components of the bacteria and the induction or prevention of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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