The nasopharynx of known meningococcal carriers without signs of acute meningococcal disease as well as cerebrospinal fluid from patients with acute meningococcal disease were cultured on Thayer-Martin agar. Pili were observed in negatively stained preparations of over 80% cells from all primary cultures of both nasopharnyx and cerebrospinal fluids. Although pili were abundant on cells from all primary cultures, all pili were lost on serial subculture in the laboratory. This loss of pili from the cell surface on laboratory subculture was not accompanied by a concomitant loss of cell wall blebs.

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