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Vet Microbiol. 2009 Mar 16;135(1-2):181-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.037. Epub 2008 Sep 13.

Serological response to pgp3 protein in animal and human chlamydial infections.

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Section of Microbiology, DMCSS, University of Bologna, S. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


Specific antibodies to plasmid-encoded protein pgp3 are known to be encountered in human Chlamydia (C.) trachomatis infections. In order to verify whether antibodies to this protein could be developed in animals infected with plasmid-carrying chlamydial strains, 454 animal sera were examined using a home-made pgp3 protein ELISA and Western blots (WB) of recombinant pgp3 protein from Chlamydophila (Cp.) psittaci. Likewise, 50 human sera were tested by ELISA and WB of recombinant pgp3 from C. trachomatis. The reactivity against pgp3 protein was compared to the reactivity against chlamydial elementary bodies (EBs) detected by microimmunofluorescence (MIF) test. The presence of pgp3-specific antibodies was demonstrated in most ducks and pigeons with Cp. psittaci infection detected by MIF, as well as in the majority of symptomatic cats and pigs infected with Cp. felis and C. suis, respectively, which reacted at high titres to Cp. felis and C. suis EBs by MIF. Moreover, most of the sera collected from patients with C. trachomatis culture-confirmed infection and seropositive to C. trachomatis by MIF, presented antibodies specific to C. trachomatis pgp3 recombinant protein. Therefore, pgp3 protein could be a useful marker of chlamydial infections in animals, as well as in humans.

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