Production of outer membrane vesicles (OMV) in batch cultivation of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B

Produção de vesículas da membrana externa (OMV) em cultivo batelada de Neisseria meningitidis sorogrupo B

Silvia Santos Júlia Baruque-Ramos Marta Massako Tanizaki Ivo Lebrun Rocilda Perazzini Furtado Schenkman About the authors

Meningococcal disease is an important cause of death and morbidity throughout the world. Nearly 330,000 cases and 35,000 deaths occur yearly. Neisseria meningitidis, serogroup B strain N.44/89, is prevalent in Brazil. Its outer membrane vesicles (OMV) with iron regulated proteins (IRP) are released to the culture medium and are used as antigen for vaccine production. In order to have knowledge about the kinetic parameters, especially the final OMV concentration values, 20-h batch cultivations were carried out in Catlin medium with iron restriction. Process conditions comprised: 7 L bioreactor, 36ºC, 0.5 atm, overlay air flowrate of 1 L/min, agitation varying from 250 rpm to 850 rpm and dissolved oxygen control set at 10% of saturation condition. Biomass was determined by optical density at 540 nm and dry weight. Glycerol, lactate, pH and dissolved oxygen were measured from samples taken during cultivation. Outer membrane vesicle (OMV) concentration was determined by Lowry's method after ultracentrifugation. IRP presence was verified by SDS-PAGE. Highest biomass value, corresponding to the highest initial lactate concentration (7.84 g/L) was achieved at the 9th hour process time corresponding to 1.0 g/L dry biomass and 2.3 optical density at 540 nm. Lactate consumption was directly related to cell growth (yield factor: 0.24 g dry biomass / g lactate). Glycerol concentration in the medium did not change significantly during the process. OMV concentration reached the highest value of 80 mg/L at end cultivation time. The obtained results suggest that lactate is a main limiting growth factor and the maximum amount of antigen is obtained during stationary growth and cell death phases.

Neisseria meningitidis; outer membrane vesicles; culture medium; vaccine; submerged batch cultivation


Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia USP - ICB III - Dep. de Microbiologia, Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2415, Cidade Universitária, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP - Brasil, Ramal USP 7979, Tel. / Fax: (55 11) 3813-9647 ou 3037-7095 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjm@sbmicrobiologia.org.br