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Eur J Immunol. 1993 May;23(5):1169-72.

An intermolecular mechanism of T cell help for the production of antibodies to the bacterial pathogen, Chlamydia trachomatis.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.


Antibodies that neutralize infectivity are directed at the antigenically variant major outer membrane protein (MOMP) of Chlamydia trachomatis. A vaccine for chlamydia will need to include T cell determinants that elicit T helper (Th) cells which provide help to MOMP-specific B cells. A limited number of determinants on MOMP are able to elicit Th cells and sequence diversity in the MOMP molecule may alter T cell recognition of these determinants. We investigated whether two sequence invariant proteins of C. trachomatis that are both abundant and immunogenic could elicit T cell help for the production of antibody to MOMP. We found that outer membrane protein 2 (OMP2) but not outer membrane protein 3 (OMP3) was able to prime BALB/c mice for an anamnestic anti-MOMP response following boost with the intact organism. This demonstration of an intermolecular mechanism of T cell help in a bacterial system has important implications for the development of a chlamydial vaccine as well as the design of vaccines for other antigenically variant non-viral pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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