Presence of antibodies to the major anaerobically induced gonococcal outer membrane protein in sera from patients with gonococcal infections

Microb Pathog. 1988 Nov;5(5):381-90. doi: 10.1016/0882-4010(88)90038-1.


Anaerobically grown Neisseria gonorrhoeae induces and represses the synthesis of outer membrane proteins. One of the anaerobically induced proteins, Pan 1, reacted strongly on Western blots with sera from patients with uncomplicated gonococcal infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and disseminated gonococcal infection, but not with normal human serum. The pattern of reactivity of the sera against Pan 1 from several gonococcal strains suggested that the protein was antigenically heterogeneous, containing both common and unique epitopes. Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease digestion of Pan 1 from four gonococcal strains revealed the presence of common peptides, with one strain also containing some unique peptides and lacking others. The class of the antibody reactive with gonococcal outer membrane antigens was examined; anti-Pan 1 antibody was found to be IgG or IgM, but not IgA. The IgM antibody present reacted predominantly with Pan 1. These data indicate that the Pan 1 protein is expressed in vivo and strongly suggest that N. gonorrhoeae can grow anaerobically in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Blotting, Western
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / growth & development
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / immunology*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Species Specificity


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins