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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 Nov;8(6):1231-3.

Evaluation of Chlamydia pneumoniae 43- and 53-kilodalton recombinant proteins for serodiagnosis by Western Blot.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common cause of respiratory infection. It has also been shown to be associated with coronary heart disease. Two proteins that have been reported to be recognized frequently during human infection are proteins having molecular masses of 43 and 53 kDa. In order to develop a useful alternative serological test to the microimmunofluorescence (micro-IF) assay, recombinant 43-kDa and 53-kDa chlamydia-specific proteins were evaluated in dot blot and/or for comparison to the standard micro-IF test. Primers for amplification were derived from genome sequence information for two C. pneumoniae genes (CPn0809 and CPn0980) encoding 53-kDa proteins and four C. pneumoniae genes (CPn0562, CPn0927, CPn0928, and Cpn0929) encoding 43-kDa proteins of unknown function, which were Chlamydia specific and not found in Chlamydia trachomatis. The 53-kDa protein product of CPn0809 or the N-terminal 18-kDa portion had better specificity than any of the 43-kDa recombinants but was much less sensitive than micro-IF. In contrast, the 53-kDa protein encoded by CPn0980 was recognized by 11 of 12 (92%) acute-phase sera, 35 of 46 (76%) chronic sera, 0 of 12 micro-IF-negative sera (C. pneumoniae and C. trachomatis negative), and 1 of 12 (8%) C. pneumoniae negative, C. trachomatis positive sera. Thus, it appears that the 53-kDa protein encoded by CPn0980 has potential use for serodiagnosis of C. pneumoniae infection.

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