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J Rheumatol. 1998 Apr;25(4):743-7.

Antibodies to Klebsiella pneumoniae in Dutch patients with ankylosing spondylitis and acute anterior uveitis and to Proteus mirabilis in rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, Amsterdam.



To determine whether the association between increased humoral reactivity against Klebsiella and HLA-B27 associated diseases could be confirmed in Dutch patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and acute anterior uveitis (AAU).


Under coded conditions sera from Dutch patients with AS, AAU, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and from HLA-B27 positive and negative healthy controls were studied for IgA anti-Klebsiella (K54) and IgG anti-Proteus antibodies with the indirect immunofluorescence assay on whole bacteria fixed in suspension with paraformaldehyde. Each group consisted of at least 17 sera.


IgA anti-Klebsiella antibody titers were elevated in AS and HLA-B27 negative AAU compared to the HLA-B27 positive and negative controls or patients with active RA (p < 0.001). Furthermore, patients with active RA had elevated levels of IgG antibodies against P. mirabilis compared to every other test or control group (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between the AS and RA patients in terms of serum C-reactive protein levels, although these were significantly elevated in both compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001), suggesting that the antibody elevations were not due to a nonspecific inflammatory effect. The same sera were blindly tested with negative results by 2 other centers. The discrepancies are probably the result of differences in the methods used.


Our data support the hypothesis that Klebsiella are involved in the pathogenesis of AS and AAU and that the same might be true for Proteus in RA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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