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J Infect Dis. 1993 Jun;167(6):1320-9.

Antigenic and epidemiologic properties of the ET-37 complex of Neisseria meningitidis.

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  • 1Max-Planck Institut für Molekulare Genetik, Berlin, Germany.


A special collection of 336 Neisseria meningitidis strains was established that spanned the genetic variability, as defined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, of the ET-37 complex (228 strains isolated in different continents between the 1960s and the 1980s) and of other serogroup C meningococci (108 strains). Of the strains in the ET-37 complex, 90% were serogroup C and 10% were serogroup B. Most ET-37 complex strains were serotype 2a and serosubtype P1.5,2 or P1.5,y; most expressed class IIb pilin. Twenty-six Opa proteins differing in electrophoretic mobility or reactivity with monoclonal antibodies were variably expressed by different members of the ET-37 complex, although only four opa genes were detected in individual strains. Despite this overall diversity, most isolates from any one outbreak were fairly homogeneous.

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