Monoclonal antibodies directed against major histocompatibility complex antigens bind to the surface of Treponema pallidum isolated from infected rabbits or humans

Kevin S. Marchitto, Thomas J. Kindt, Michael V. Norgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence is presented for the association of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens with the surface of Treponema pallidum during infection. A monoclonal antibody (IgG2a) directed against a murine H-2Kb epitope of public specificity reacted with the cell surface of T. pallidum, as assayed by the binding of protein A-colloidal gold in immunoelectron microscopy. Monoclonal antibodies directed against class I rabbit MHC antigens also reacted in immunofluorescence assays with material on the surface of rabbit-cultivated T. pallidum. In addition, impression smears of human syphilitic genital ulcers that were darkfield-positive for the presence of spirochetes were tested in immunofluorescence assays with monoclonal antibodies directed against human MHC antigens; antibody directed against HLA-ABC (class I) was reactive whereas antibody directed against HLA-DR (class II) was nonreactive. Results of the study suggest that the association of host-derived class I MHC antigens or molecular mimicry may play a role in T. pallidum evasion of host immune defenses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Immunology
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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