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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1997 Oct;19(2):159-67.

Analysis of the human Ig isotype response to individual transferrin binding proteins A and B from Neisseria meningitidis.

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Manchester Public Health Laboratory, Withington Hospital, UK.


Subcapsular antigens, including transferrin binding proteins, are being considered as potential vaccines against serogroup B meningococci. This study examined the human isotype antibody responses in cases of meningococcal disease to meningococcal TbpA (transferrin binding protein A) and TbpB (transferrin binding protein B) from two strains (SD and B16B6) expressing high and low molecular mass TbpB respectively. TbpA isolated from both strains were recognised more frequently and higher durable ELISA absorbance values were detected than those detected against TbpB from either strain. These antibody responses to Tbps were independent of the infecting meningococcal strain type. The antibody response to the four proteins was highly variable between individuals and differed significantly against all four antigens. The variability of immune responses to each Tbp from the two strains suggests that a successful vaccine would need to include TbpA and TbpB from a number of strains.

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