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Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a human-specific pathogen responsible for the sexually transmitted infection, gonorrhoea. N. gonorrhoeae promotes its survival by manipulating both innate and adaptive immune responses. The most abundant gonococcal outer-membrane protein is PorB, an essential porin that facilitates ion exchange. Importantly, gonococcal PorB has several immunomodulatory properties. To subvert the innate immune response, PorB suppresses killing mechanisms of macrophages and neutrophils, and recruits negative regulators of complement to the gonococcal cell surface. For manipulation of adaptive immune responses, gonococcal PorB suppresses the capability of dendritic cells to stimulate proliferation of T cells. As gonococcal PorB is highly abundant in outer-membrane vesicles, consideration of the immunomodulatory properties of this porin is critical when designing gonococcal vaccines.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Microbiol

Publication Date



Neisseria gonorrhoeae, PorB, immune responses, outer-membrane vesicles, vaccine