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J Lab Clin Med. 2000 Mar;135(3):287-93.

Further observations and characterization of monoclonal antibodies reacting with B cell alloantigens associated with rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


Elevated levels of B lymphocytes with a unique surface alloantigen have been reported to be characteristic of patients with acute rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease. Mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to this alloantigen have been proposed as being useful in identifying individuals at risk for the development of these sequelae of group A streptococcal infection. However, previous studies have suggested that the discriminating ability of the mAbs was highest when the mAbs were made by using lymphocytes from the same ethnic population. To confirm and extend this observation, additional mouse mAbs were developed and their properties defined. These three mAbs-PG-12A, PG-13A, and PG-20A-reacted with B cells from more than 90% of North Indian patients with acute rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease. Each of these three new mAbs identified the highest levels of reactive B cells in patients with active acute rheumatic fever. Lower levels of positive reacting lymphocytes were found in individuals with quiescent chronic rheumatic heart disease, and markedly reduced percentages of reactive cells were observed in normal control subjects. The proportion of reactive lymphocytes in individual patients varied according to which of the three was tested, suggesting the possibility of a spectrum of "rheumatic" epitopes in susceptible individuals. The data further suggested that enhanced discriminatory ability for identifying "at-risk" susceptible patients could be obtained by testing with a combination of mAbs. If reduction in the incidence of acute rheumatic fever can be facilitated by early identification of susceptible individuals, accurate and sensitive detection of a marker antigen would result in more cost-effective public health measures. Additional population studies are required to more precisely define and confirm these detection techniques.

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