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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1996 Jun;14(2-3):73-81.

Serum bactericidal activity in a secondary school population following an outbreak of meningococcal disease: effects of carriage and secretor status.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Sera obtained from 106 children following an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis (B:4:P1.15) were screened for bactericidal antibodies against isolates of meningococci and Neisseria lactamica. Most had high titres of antibodies to N. lactamica and N. meningitidis NG:4:- but not to capsulate isolates: B:4:P1.15; B:15:P1.16; B:4:-; C:4:-. Bactericidal activity was higher for both carriers and secretors but the differences were not significant. Bactericidal activity was not associated with total or specific IgA or IgM. Carriers had significantly higher levels of IgG to N. lactamica but not to NG:4:- in sera with bactericidal activity for each of the capsulate strains. Among non-carriers, higher levels of IgG to N. lactamica were associated with killing of B:4:P1.15 and B:4:-. Secretors' sera with bactericidal activity had significantly higher levels of IgG to N. lactamica compared with sera that were not bactericidal. This was not observed among non-secretors. Antibodies to the outbreak strain were adsorbed by all Neisseria isolates tested and absorption of sera with N. lactamica alone completely removed the bactericidal activity against the outbreak strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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