Multiple gonococcal pilin antigenic variants are produced during experimental human infections

H. Steven Seifert*, Christina J. Wright, Ann E. Jerse, Myron S. Cohen, Janne G. Cannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


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 pilin 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2744-2749
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • bacterial adhesion
  • genetic recombination
  • pili
  • vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple gonococcal pilin antigenic variants are produced during experimental human infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this