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Microbiol Immunol. 1999;43(3):229-34.

Antigenic relationship among the eight prototype and new serotype strains of Orientia tsutsugamushi revealed by monoclonal antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Inha University College of Medicine, Inchon, Republic of Korea.


Orientia tsutsugamushi, the etiologic agent of tsutsugamushi disease, exhibits great antigenic variation. Three classical strains (Karp, Gilliam, and Kato) and new antigenic types from Thailand (TA686, TA678, TA716, TA763, and TH1817) have been used as prototype strains of O. tsutsugamushi in many studies. In this study, monoclonal antibodies to the five Thailand strains were produced, and their reactivity against prototype strains and newly identified isolates from Korea and Japan was tested. With a panel of these monoclonal antibodies, we could analyze the antigenic relationship among various strains of O. tsutsugamushi from Thailand, Japan, and Korea. Twelve strains of the O. tsutsugamushi tested showed various reactivities to monoclonal antibodies, and no distinct pattern of reactivity was found according to their location of isolation. Although the Boryong and Kuroki strains were similar in reactivities to most monoclonal antibodies, several monoclonal antibodies could differentiate the two strains. These results indicate that the immunofluorescence antibody test using monoclonal antibodies used in this study is valuable for analyzing the antigenic relationship and classification of O. tsutsugamushi.

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