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J Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 1;184(5):643-7. Epub 2001 Aug 9.

Local production of anti-vibrio cholerae mucosal antibody in reproductive tract tissues after cholera.

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  • 1Tropical and Geographic Medicine Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


To investigate whether intestinal presentation of an antigen by Vibrio cholerae, a noninvasive organism, could induce an anatomically distant mucosal immune response in reproductive tract tissues, the endocervical immune responses of women in Bangladesh were evaluated after cholera. Endocervical secretions were analyzed for secretory IgA (sIgA) antibody against the B subunit of cholera toxin (CtxB) in 9 women with cholera and 8 women with diarrhea caused by neither V. cholerae nor heat labile enterotoxin-producing Escherichia coli. Women infected with V. cholerae developed significant sIgA anti-CtxB responses in endocervical samples (P< or =.02). Antibody subtype analysis of endocervical IgA was consistent with local mucosal production (P< or =.001). Women with cholera did not develop sIgA anti-CtxB responses in serum. The ability to generate specific mucosal immune responses in reproductive tract tissues after intestinal presentation of antigen could facilitate development of vaccines effective against reproductive tract pathogens.

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