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Epidemiol Infect. 1992 Apr;108(2):315-22.

Reactivity of human serum antibody with lipopolysaccharide O 78 antigen from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

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Nestlé Research Centre, Nestec Ltd., Lausanne, Switzerland.


Fifteen and five of 20 volunteers challenged with the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strain O 78.H11 showed a fourfold titre increase of serum ELISA antibody to the homologous O 78 and the heterologous O 8 lipopolysaccharide antigen, respectively. Sixty-three of 191 sera from 1- to 48-month-old German children showed serum antibody reactive with O 78 antigen, all but two of these O 78-positive sera also showed reactivity with at least one further O antigen. Only 14 of the O 78 reactive sera also showed antibody to heat-labile enterotoxin. In addition, soluble O 8 antigen could inhibit the binding of serum antibody to absorbed O 78 in 68% of the German children. Antibody reactive with O 78 antigen is thus not a reliable serological marker for enterotoxigenic E. coli infection in German children.

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