The pilus of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a dominant outer membrane organelle, is a major virulence factor. The pilus undergoes phase variation and antigenic variation has also been observed, both in vitro and in vivo. The current model of pilus variation invokes a gene conversion type recombination between a silent pilin locus and the pilin expression site. Experimental results which led to the creation of this hypothesis are reviewed and data are presented which support an alternative model based on DNA transformation.
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- General Immunology and Microbiology
- General Veterinary
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases