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Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Jan;107(1):44-9.

Synthetic peptides based on Chlamydia trachomatis antigens identify cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in subjects from a trachoma-endemic population.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.


CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize peptide antigens in the context of class I MHC antigen molecules. To identify peptides capable of eliciting anti-Chlamydia trachomatis CTL responses, 13 synthetic peptides conforming to human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-B8- or -B35-predicted binding motifs were synthesized using sequences based on C. trachomatis major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and heat shock protein 60 (hsp60). Two of 11 HLA-B35-predicted binding peptides were able to stabilize HLA-B35 in an in vitro binding assay. All peptides were tested in CTL assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) isolated from 26 HLA-B8 or -B35 individuals resident in a trachoma-endemic community. Responses to MOMP and hsp60 peptides were identified in a minority of both HLA-B8 and -B35 individuals. Two of 12 HLA-B8 subjects responded to MOMP and 1/13 to hsp60 peptides. Responses in HLA-B35 subjects were similar, 1/13 subjects responding to MOMP and 2/13 to hsp60 peptides. CTL responses were observed only in children resolving current infection and in adults without scarring of the conjunctiva. These results suggest that anti-chlamydial CTL occur at low levels in peripheral blood, but may be important in the resolution of naturally acquired human ocular chlamydial infection.

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