Murine monoclonal antibodies directed against a 47,000-dalton immunodominant surface-exposed antigen of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (Nichols) were isolated. These monoclonal antibodies cross-reacted with analogous 47,000-dalton antigens of two other virulent treponemes, T. pallidum subsp. pertenue and T. pallidum subsp. endemicum (Bosnia A), as determined by radioimmunoassay and immunoblot analyses. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed that the 47,000-dalton antigen of T. pallidum subsp. pallidum was a surface-associated cellular component. Surface binding assays and immunoelectron microscopic studies also suggested that the analogous 47,000-dalton antigenic component of T. pallidum subsp. pertenue may not have been oriented toward the bacterial surface in the same way as the T. pallidum subsp. pallidum antigen or that the relevant antigenic determinant(s) may not have been exposed to the outer surface in the same way. The significance of this antigen relative to its apparent conservation among pathogenic treponemes and its possible diagnostic and vaccinogenic potentials are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases