Author(s): Comanducci M, Bambini S, Brunelli B, AduBobie J, Aric B, , Comanducci M, Bambini S, Brunelli B, AduBobie J, Aric B,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Neisseria meningitidis is a human pathogen, which, in spite of antibiotic therapy, is still a major cause of mortality due to sepsis and meningitis. Here we describe NadA, a novel surface antigen of N. meningitidis that is present in 52 out of 53 strains of hypervirulent lineages electrophoretic types (ET) ET37, ET5, and cluster A4. The gene is absent in the hypervirulent lineage III, in N. gonorrhoeae and in the commensal species N. lactamica and N. cinerea. The guanine/cytosine content, lower than the chromosome, suggests acquisition by horizontal gene transfer and subsequent limited evolution to generate three well-conserved alleles. NadA has a predicted molecular structure strikingly similar to a novel class of adhesins (YadA and UspA2), forms high molecular weight oligomers, and binds to epithelial cells in vitro supporting the hypothesis that NadA is important for host cell interaction. NadA induces strong bactericidal antibodies and is protective in the infant rat model suggesting that this protein may represent a novel antigen for a vaccine able to control meningococcal disease caused by three hypervirulent lineages.
This article was published in J Exp Med
and referenced in Journal of Blood & Lymph