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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405


BARUQUE-RAMOS, Júlia et al. Nitrogen consumption during batch cultivation of Neisseria meningitidis (serogroup C) in Frantz medium. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2001, vol.32, n.4, pp.305-310. ISSN 1517-8382.

Capsular polysaccharide, extracted from microorganism cultivations, is the principal antigen for elaboration of vaccine against the disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C. The final protein content allowed in this vaccine is 1%. In order to find a relationship between nitrogen consumption and cell growth, including polysaccharide production, and cell nitrogen content, cultivations were carried out in an 80 liters bioreactor (total capacity), under the following conditions: Frantz medium; temperature of 35ºC; air flow of 5 L/min (0.125 vvm); agitation frequency of 120 rpm and vessel pressure of 6 psi (kLa = 0.07 min-1). Concentrations of biomass, total polysaccharide, cellular nitrogen, residual organic and inorganic nitrogen in the medium were measured during cultivation. From five cultivations carried out under the same conditions, a mean cell nitrogen percentage of 12.6% (w/w) in respect to the dry biomass was found. The inorganic nitrogen in the medium did not change significantly along the cultivation time, whereas the organic nitrogen consumption was linearly related to cell growth, with constant yield factors (average of 8.44). Polysaccharide production kinetics followed the cell growth kinetics until the beginning of the stationary growth phase. A supplemental polysaccharide production was observed until the end of cultivation, but without cell nitrogen absorption. Thus, the results indicate that polysaccharide is produced in two phases, being the first one biomass formation followed by non-associated to growth.

Keywords : N. meningitidis; vaccine; polysaccharide; nitrogen.

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