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J Infect Dis. 1995 Nov;172(5):1279-89.

Complement-mediated bactericidal activity of human antibodies to poly alpha 2-->8 N-acetylneuraminic acid, the capsular polysaccharide of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B.

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Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, CA 94609, USA.


Serum antibodies to Neisseria meningitidis group B (MenB) polysaccharide are reported not to elicit bacteriolysis in the presence of human complement. To reexamine this question, we evaluated the ability of two human IgM anti-MenB polysaccharide monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and seven human MenB polysaccharide-reactive human IgM paraproteins to elicit bacteriolysis. In the presence of human complement, both MAbs and five of the seven paraproteins were bactericidal at antibody concentrations of 0.25-9.6 micrograms/mL (50% killing). Activity of the respective antibodies was enhanced 200- to > 10,000-fold when rabbit complement was used instead of human complement. With rabbit complement, the bactericidal activity of human IgM polyclonal antibody or MAb to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) polysaccharide but not human IgG polyclonal antibody or MAb to Hib polysaccharide was similarly augmented. Thus, for both MenB and Hib, IgM antipolysaccharide antibodies elicit complement-mediated bactericidal activity in the presence of human complement, and the use of rabbit complement yields spuriously high activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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