Multiple gonococcal pilin antigenic variants are produced during experimental human infections

C J Wright, A E Jerse, H S Seifert, M S Cohen, J G Cannon
Gonococcal pilin variation is thought to allow immune evasion and change the adherence properties of the pilus. We have examined the process of pilin antigenic variation in human volunteers inoculated with strain FA1090. Our data show that pilin variation occurred throughout the process of infection, that at each time sampled after inoculation multiple pilin variants were present, and that later pilin variants appear to be recombinants between previously expressed genes and the silent storage
more » ... lin copies. Thus, during infection a large repertoire of proteins are available to the population to help avoid immune responses, to provide pili with varying functions, and to transmit to a new host.
doi:10.17615/4hka-fg62 fatcat:i2y7oiu6xfdzpjiwgxljw7mqiq