Variation of the pilus of Neisseria gonorrhoeae occurs by the recombination of silent pilin DNA sequences into the pilin expression locus. We have developed a quantitative, competitive reverse transcription-PCR assay which measures the frequency of pilin antigenic variation independently of changes in gonococcal colony morphology and have determined this frequency within a gonococcal population. We have also studied the frequency of antigenic variation during growth and have concluded that growth does not dramatically influence the frequency of pilin antigenic variation, although a reproducible, twofold increase is observed upon the transition into late log/stationary phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology