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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1994 Oct;38(10):2306-10.

Antibodies against chromosomal beta-lactamase.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


A murine monoclonal anti-chromosomal beta-lactamase antibody was developed and an immunoblotting technique was used to study the presence of serum and sputum antibodies against Pseudomonas aeruginosa chromosomal group 1 beta-lactamase in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The serum antibody response was studied with serum samples collected in 1992 from 56 CF patients in a cross-sectional study and with serum samples from 18 CF patients in a longitudinal study. Anti-beta-lactamase immunoglobulin G antibodies were present in all of the serum samples from the patients with chronic bronchopulmonary P. aeruginosa infection (CF + P) but in none of the CF patients with no or intermittent P. aeruginosa infection. Anti-beta-lactamase antibodies were present in serum from CF + P patients after six antipseudomonal courses (median) and correlated with infection with a beta-lactam-resistant strain of P. aeruginosa. The sputum antibody response and the beta-lactamase activity in sputum samples from 14 of the CF + P patients were also studied. beta-lactamase antibodies were present in 10 of these samples. P. aeruginosa strains isolated from these samples were partially derepressed, producing group 1 cephalosporinase. We found a wide range of chromosomal beta-lactamase activity in the sputum samples, with no correlation with basal or induced activity of beta-lactamase expression. The presence of anti-beta-lactamase antibodies in endobronchial sputum could be an important factor in the defense against the infection. On the other hand, immune complexes between the beta-lactamase and corresponding antibodies could play a role in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary injury in CF by mediating hyperimmune reactions.

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