Antigenic and epidemiologic properties of the ET-37 complex of Neisseria meningitidis

J Infect Dis. 1993 Jun;167(6):1320-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/167.6.1320.


A special collection of 336 Neisseria meningitidis strains was established that spanned the genetic variability, as defined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, of the ET-37 complex (228 strains isolated in different continents between the 1960s and the 1980s) and of other serogroup C meningococci (108 strains). Of the strains in the ET-37 complex, 90% were serogroup C and 10% were serogroup B. Most ET-37 complex strains were serotype 2a and serosubtype P1.5,2 or P1.5,y; most expressed class IIb pilin. Twenty-six Opa proteins differing in electrophoretic mobility or reactivity with monoclonal antibodies were variably expressed by different members of the ET-37 complex, although only four opa genes were detected in individual strains. Despite this overall diversity, most isolates from any one outbreak were fairly homogeneous.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigenic Variation
  • Antigens, Bacterial / genetics
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / epidemiology*
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / immunology
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / microbiology
  • Neisseria meningitidis / genetics
  • Neisseria meningitidis / immunology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • opc protein, bacteria