In vivo and in vitro expression of haemophilus influenzae type b lipooligosaccharide epitopes

Jussi Mertsola, Leslie D. Cope, Xavier Sáez-Llorens, Octavio Ramilo, William Kennedy, George H. McCracken, Eric J. Hansen

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8 Scopus citations


An indirect immunofluorescence system involving monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against surface epitopes of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) lipooligosaccharide (LOS) was used to examine individual Hib cells in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from infants with Hib meningitis. In four of five CSF samples studied, 100% of the bacteria bound at least one LOS-directed MAb. When the bacteria from these CSF samples were grown in broth, most of these cells lost some or all of their ability to bind the MAb(s) that were bound by the same organisms present in human CSF. When in vitro-grown cells were used for intracistemal injection of rabbits, the populations of Hib cells observed in rabbit CSF after the development of meningitis generally resembled those of the respective broth-grown inocula in terms of their LOS antigenic characteristics. Hib cell populations recovered in infant rat CSF after intranasal challenge again had LOS antigenic characteristics similar to those of the in vitro-grown challenge inocula. These results indicate that a population of Hib cells growing in the infected human host may be quite different, with regard to its LOS antigenic characteristics, from the same Hib strain growing in vitro or in vivo in animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-563
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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