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J Clin Microbiol. 1987 Oct;25(10):1868-74.

Prospective study of serum antibodies to Pseudomonas aeruginosa exoproteins in cystic fibrosis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


Serum immunoglobulin G to four purified antigens from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, phospholipase C, alkaline protease, exotoxin A, and elastase, were determined in 62 patients with cystic fibrosis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The patients were followed for 12 to 24 months in a prospective study. Increased titers, i.e., titers more than 2 standard deviations above those of normal controls, were exclusively found in patients chronically colonized with P. aeruginosa and not in patients harboring only Staphylococcus aureus. The frequencies of elevated titers of antibody to the different antigens varied from 100% (phospholipase C) to 58% (alkaline protease and exotoxin A) to 15% (elastase) in the chronically colonized patients. Mean serum titer levels, expressed as multiples of the age-correlated upper normal limit (=1), were significantly higher to phospholipase C in patients with dual colonization with P. aeruginosa and S. aureus than in those colonized only with P. aeruginosa (P less than 0.001). Conversely, the other three antigens showed significantly higher serum antibody titer levels in patients harboring only P. aeruginosa (P less than 0.001). In five patients who became colonized with P. aeruginosa during the study period, serum antibodies to phospholipase C and exotoxin A increased first. Exceptions to the general pattern of antibody responses were found in three patients chronically colonized with Escherichia coli. They showed a delayed enhancement of anti-phospholipase C titers after the chronic P. aeruginosa colonization. Serum titers were not influenced by exacerbations of pulmonary infection or by antimicrobial therapy. The determination of titers of serum antibody to phospholipase C seems to be a valuable indicator of a chronic colonization with P. aeruginosa. The results further suggest that bacterial metabolism and interactions may influence the antibody response.

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