Mechanisms of stable serum resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

P. A. Rice, M. S. Blake, K. A. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Neisseria gonorrhoeae that resist complement-dependent killing by normal human serum (NHS) are sometimes killed by immune convalescent sera from patients recovering from disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). In these studies, killing by immune serum was prevented or blocked by immunoglobulin G (IgG) or F(ab′)2 isolated from NHS. Purified human IgG antibodies directed against gonococcal protein III, contained most of the blocking activity in IgG. In addition, immune convalescent DGI serum, which did not exhibit bactericidal activity, was restored to killing by selective immunodepletion of protein III antibodies. Blocking IgG or F(ab′)2 prepared from IgG, partially inhibited binding of bactericidal antibody to N. gonorrhoeae. Also, binding of a monoclonal antibody recognizing N. gonorrhoeae outer membrane protein PIII was almost completely inhibited by blocking F(ab′)2. Presensitization of N. gonorrhoeae with increasing concentrations of blocking IgG or F(ab′)2 before incubation with bactericidal antibody and an antibody free source of complement, increased consumption and deposition of the third component of human complement (C3) and the ninth component of complement (C9) but inhibited killing in dose-related fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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