The interaction of gonococci with host defenses including serum and phagocytic cells has been extensively studied. We have shown that a small molecular weight factor in serum stimulates gonococcal metabolism. This factor has now been isolated by column chromatography and may be released from mammalian cells including phagocytes. Exposure of gonococci to serum decreases membrane fluidity as demonstrated by EPR, seems to reduce OMP shedding, and reduces uptake by PMNS. Serum stimulated gonococci consume O2 to an extent adequate to interfere with PMN formation of reactive oxygen intermediates. We propose that all of these responses are adaptive and favor survival of this pathogen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology