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[Species- and genus-specific antigenic epitopes of Francisella tularensis lipopolysaccharides].

[Article in Russian]

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1
Plague Control Institute, Rostov-on-Don.

Abstract

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigenic epitopes of natural virulent and isogenic avirulent Francisella tularensis strains and other species of the Francisella genus (F. novicida, F. novicida-like, and F. philomiragia) were studied by dot and immunoblotting. Polyclonal rabbit and human sera to virulent F. tularensis strains and monoclonal antibodies to F. tularensis LPS O-side chain were used for detecting species- and genus-specific LPS epitopes. Typical virulent F. tularensis strains produce two types of S-LPS with different antigenic specificity simultaneously. Antigenic determinants of two LPS types were located in LPS O-polysaccharide but not in the core oligosaccharide. The epitopes of the first LPS type were characterized by species specificity for F. tularensis in contrast to determinants of the second LPS type, which had epitopes common with F. novicida. Cross exhaustion of human and rabbit antitularemic sera by F. tularensis and F. novicida LPS showed that F. novicida LPS molecules contained at least two epitopes--highly specific for F. novicida and common with the second type of F. tularensis LPS. The immune response of rabbits and humans to F. tularensis LPS epitopes was different in principle. Sera from rabbits immunized with vaccine and virulent F. tularensis strains contained antibodies "recognizing" antigenic epitopes of two S-LPS forms of the bacterium: type 1 species-specific (in high titers) and type 2 epitopes common with F. novicida LPS (in low titers). In addition to these, sera from patients with tularemia contain immunoglobulins to species-specific epitopes of F. novicida LPS in high titers. Experiments on avirulent mutants showed that in some cases attenuation of F. tularensis can involve loss of species-specific LPS form, while S-LPS with epitopes common with F. novicida LPS will be retained. The difference in specificity of human and rabbit antitularemic antibodies is due to individual features in the host immune system.

PMID:
10975073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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