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Primary humoral antibody response to Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever.

By D Guigno, B Coupland, E G Smith, I D Farrell, U Desselberger and E O Caul

Abstract

Of 147 patients with acute Q fever diagnosed during a major outbreak in Birmingham, England, in early summer 1989, 41 provided sets of sera which allowed us to make a detailed analysis of the primary humoral immune response. Antibody titers specific for Coxiella burnetii were measured by the complement fixation test and by an immunoglobulin M (IgM)- and IgG-specific indirect immunofluorescence test. The relative avidity of specific IgGs was determined by the indirect immunofluorescence test with and without treatment of antigen-antibody complexes with 8 M urea. The IgG subclass responses after primary infection and their avidities were also determined for a limited number of paired serum specimens. Specific IgM titers persisted for more than 6 months in the majority of cases and were therefore not a sufficient criterion for the diagnosis of recent infection. However, for serial samples the antibody titer ratios (IgG/IgM) and the ratios (IgG titer with treatment/IgG titer without treatment) that indicated relative avidity changed significantly, depending on the time postinfection. Within the IgG class, the C. burnetii-specific antibody response over time was almost exclusively represented by subclass 1 molecules, which thus showed affinity maturation

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1992
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:265423
Provided by: PubMed Central
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