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Quantitative analysis of the IgG and IgG subclass immune responses to chromosomal Pseudomonas aeruginosa beta-lactamase in serum from patients with cystic fibrosis by western blotting and laser scanning densitometry.
  1. T. D. Petersen,
  2. O. Ciofu,
  3. T. Pressler,
  4. B. Giwercman,
  5. S. S. Pedersen,
  6. N. Høiby
  1. Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Rigshospitalet Copenhagen, Denmark.


    BACKGROUND: Antibodies against chromosomal beta-lactamase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a beta ab) are markers of the development of resistance of P aeruginosa to beta-lactam antibiotics in patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic lung infection. The role of these antibodies in patients with chronic lung infection with P aeruginosa was further investigated by correlating the a beta ab IgG subclasses with pulmonary function in patients with cystic fibrosis. METHODS: Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG subclass a beta ab were investigated by western blotting and quantified by laser scanning densitometry. A longitudinal study on 43 consecutive patients with cystic fibrosis who developed chronic lung infection with P aeruginosa was performed. RESULTS: IgG subclass a beta ab appeared in all patients with chronic infection with P aeruginosa. Eleven years after the onset of infection all the patients had IgG1, 79% had IgG4, 56% IgG2, and only 16% of the patients had IgG3 a beta ab. The IgG1 and IgG4 a beta ab appeared first, and more than 50% of the patients were IgG1 and IgG4 a beta ab positive within 2-3 years of the onset of infection, but IgG2 positivity only appeared after seven years and IgG3 remained absent from most of the patients. The median a beta ab levels increased during chronic infection: 100-fold for IgG1, 22-fold for IgG2, and 45-fold for IgG4. A 16-fold increase in the IgG3 a beta ab levels was detected in the six patients who developed IgG3 a beta ab. In the first four years of the chronic infection the a beta ab titres were higher in patients with good lung function than in those with poor lung function. CONCLUSIONS: The association of a weak IgG3 and a strong IgG4 a beta ab response suggests that the contribution of a beta ab antibodies to lung diseases mediated by immune complexes might be less important than other antipseudomonal antibodies. A beneficial neutralising effect of the a beta ab antibodies on the antibiotic destroying enzymes may be an additional factor.

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