Blocking of bactericidal killing of Neisseria meningitidis by antibodies directed against class 4 outer membrane protein

Microb Pathog. 1991 Dec;11(6):447-52. doi: 10.1016/0882-4010(91)90041-8.


The class 4 protein of Neisseria meningitidis is a highly conserved outer membrane protein, closely related to the protein PIII of Neisseria gonorrhoea. Monoclonal antibodies SM50 and SM54 raised against PIII also react with class 4 protein but do not promote complement mediated bactericidal killing of meningococci. In addition, mAb SM50 inhibits the anti-meningococcal bactericidal activity both of normal human sera and of mAb SM300, directed against a protective epitope on the class 1 outer membrane protein. The ability of class 4 protein to induce such 'blocking' antibodies suggests that its presence in experimental vaccines, based on meningococcal outer membranes, may be antagonistic to the development of effective bactericidal immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / immunology
  • Neisseria meningitidis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Rmp protein, Neisseria