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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1994 Jun 1;119(1-2):161-6.

Naturally occurring PIA/PIB hybrids of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Paddington, London, UK.


The major outer membrane protein of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Por, functions as a porin and is thought to occur as one gene with two alleles. The immunologically distinct epitopes of the two subclasses, IA and IB, have allowed the development of serotyping schemes. Clinical isolates of N. gonorrhoeae are believed to express only a single type of Por, either IA or IB. We have encountered two clusters of isolates that react with antibodies to both IA and IB Por. Isolates within the clusters are indistinguishable by the phenotypic characteristics tested. In addition, the amplification of the por gene in representative isolates showed that the por gene of the hybrids gave similar restriction digest patterns within but not between the clusters.

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