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Microb Pathog. 1992 Jun;12(6):433-42.

Epitope analysis of an immunodominant domain on the P1 protein of Haemophilus influenzae type b using synthetic peptides and anti-idiotypic antibodies.

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National Laboratory for Immunology, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Synthetic peptides, anti-idiotypic antibodies (anti-Id) and human and murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used to further define a major antigenic domain on the outer membrane P1 protein (OMP) of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Synthetic peptides were elaborated from the known primary sequences of the P1 protein of prototype Hib strains MinnA (OMP subtype 1H) and 8358 (OMP subtype 6U). By peptide mapping, antibodies are categorized into three groups: A, B and C. A first epitope on the P1 from strain MinnA was identified by the reactivity of one set of murine anti-P1 mAbs with the two overlapping peptides 11H and 13H, corresponding to amino acid residues 384-412 and 400-437, respectively. On the basis of their reactivity with both peptides, these mAbs were designated as group A. Anti-Id obtained from mice immunized with two group A mAbs reacted specifically with all group A mAbs. A second epitope on the same P1 protein was identified by the reactivity of the peptide 13H with another distinct set of murine anti-P1 mAbs assigned to group B. This group of mAbs did not recognize the peptide 11H. Murine anti-Id which were prepared against one group B mAb inhibited the attachment of this mAb to outer membrane preparations, whereas the binding of the other group B mAbs was not affected, suggesting that these mAbs represent a heterologous group of mAbs. The epitope(s) recognized by two human anti-P1 mAbs was (were) distinct from the ones recognized by murine mAbs since no reactivity with the peptides was observed. Similarly, the binding of the two human mAbs to the P1 antigen was not inhibited by anti-Id raised against group A or B mAbs. Interestingly, an epitope on a different P1 protein recovered from strain 8358 was identified by the reactivity of group C murine mAbs with the peptide 13U, which occupies the same position on the P1 protein as 13H but differs from the latter by 10 amino acid residues. Our studies demonstrated the presence of several distinct surface-exposed B-cell epitopes within the antigenic domain which was defined previously on the P1 protein of Hib MinnA. Furthermore, we showed the immunodominance of this region on two different P1 proteins. None of the mAbs, however, had a bacteriolytic or protective activity against Hib strains. We suggest that the surface-exposed immunodominant region on the OMP P1 of Hib do not induce protective antibodies against Hib infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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