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Med Microbiol Immunol. 1999 Dec;188(3):151-9.

Anti-recombinant V antigen serum promotes uptake of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype 08 by macrophages.

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Max von Pettenkofer-Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany.


Phagocytosis resistance even in the presence of opsonizing antibodies is a key feature of pathogenic Yersinia spp. Nevertheless, antibodies against the secreted V antigen and the outer membrane protein YadA are known to mediate protection against Y. enterocolitica serotype 08 in a mouse model with intravenous infection. To investigate the impact of anti-V antigen serum on the interaction of Y. enterocolitica and phagocytic cells, gentamicin kill assays and immunofluorescence staining were performed. In contrast to anti-YadA, the presence of V antigen-specific antibodies resulted in an increased uptake of yersiniae by macrophages. The inhibition of phagocytosis by cytochalasin D suppressed the anti-V antigen-mediated uptake. The uptake-promoting effect of anti-V antigen was more distinct for macrophages than for polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The findings of the passive immunization experiments using an orogastric infection model were in agreement with those of cell-culture experiments. In the first 3 days of infection both antisera exhibit no protective effect on the multiplication of the bacteria in the Peyer's patches. Only mice passively immunized with anti-V antigen survived lethal oral infections with Y. enterocolitica serotype 08. Taken together, the results support the assumption that V antigen might be part of the translocation apparatus and that anti-V antigen inhibits the Yop translocation. In addition, antisera against in-frame-deleted recombinant V antigen were generated. Protection experiments using these antisera suggested that the type-specific region (amino acids 225-232) of the V antigen might not be a protective epitope.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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