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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1995 Mar;2(2):160-5.

Monoclonal antibodies to Legionella Mip proteins recognize genus- and species-specific epitopes.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Universitätsklinikum der Technischen Universität Dresden, Germany.


Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the virulence-associated Mip protein of Legionella spp. were raised by immunizing BALB/c mice with (i) Legionella pneumophila, (ii) Legionella micdadei, and (iii) purified recombinant native Mip protein cloned from L. pneumophila Philadelphia 1. Following screening of seeded wells by immunoblot analysis with homologous antigens, eight Mip-specific MAbs were found. These MAbs were chosen to investigate the antigenic diversity of Mip proteins in the genus Legionella. Mip was detected in 82 Legionella strains representing all 34 species tested. One of these MAbs, obtained from immunization with L. micdadei, recognized an epitope common to all Legionella species tested by immunoblot analysis. Another MAb was discovered to be specific for the Mip protein of L. pneumophila. The remaining six MAbs recognized 18 to 79% of Legionella species included in this study. By making use of the MAbs introduced in this study, it could be shown that, based on Mip protein epitope expression, Legionella species can be divided into at least six antigenetically distinct groups. As demonstrated by 43 L. pneumophila strains representing all serogroups, no antigenic diversity of Mip proteins was found for this species. In addition, 18 non-Legionella species, including Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria meningitidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, all of which are known to carry genes homologous to the Legionella mip genes, were reacted against all eight MAbs. No cross-reactivity was detectable in any of those strains.

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