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Characterization of an immunoreactive protein from the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

By C P Kolbert, E S Bruinsma, A S Abdulkarim, E K Hofmeister, R B Tompkins, S R Telford, P D Mitchell, J Adams-Stich and D H Persing


A gene that is homologous to the Ehrlichia chaffeensis groEL operon was recovered and characterized by broad-range PCR amplification of whole blood from patients with human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and from infected HL60 cell cultures. Sequence analysis of an 820-bp DNA fragment recovered directly from human blood showed 76.5 and 76.3% identity with cognate sequences from E. chaffeensis and Cowdria ruminantium, respectively. Analysis of a 1.6-kb DNA fragment derived from an HGE agent-infected HL60 cell culture indicated a near-complete open reading frame that contained 75.6 and 75.2% sequence identity with the E. chaffeensis and C. ruminantium groEL sequences, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of this fragment showed that the HGE agent-derived sequence was related to, but distinct from, the sequences of E. chaffeensis and C. ruminantium. Polyvalent antibody responses to a recombinant fusion protein based on the HGE agent groEL homolog were detected in three of three BALB/c mice that were infected by syringe inoculation with a Wisconsin strain of the HGE agent (WI-1) and nine of nine mice infected by Ixodes scapularis (Ixodes dammini) tick inoculation of an isolate from Nantucket Island, Mass. (NCH-1). No response was detected in mice infected with Borrelia burgdorferi or in control BALB/c mice. Further characterization of the sensitivity and specificity of immune responses to this protein will be facilitated by the use of recombinant fusion proteins or peptides based on the HGE agent-specific groEL homolog

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:232724
Provided by: PubMed Central
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