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Two monoclonal antibodies with defined epitopes of P44 major surface proteins neutralize Anaplasma phagocytophilum by distinct mechanisms.

ABSTRACT: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligatory intracellular bacterium that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. The polymorphic 44-kDa major outer membrane proteins of A. phagocytophilum are dominant antigens recognized by patients and infected animals. However, the ability of anti-P44 antibody to neutralize the infection has been unclear due to a mixture of P44 proteins with diverse hypervariable region amino acid sequences expressed by a given bacterial population and lack of epitope-defined antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) 5C11 and 3E65 are directed to different domains of P44 proteins, the N-terminal conserved region and P44-18 central hypervariable region, respectively. Passive immunization with either MAb 5C11 or 3E65 partially protects mice from infection with A. phagocytophilum. In the present study, we demonstrated that the two monoclonal antibodies recognize bacterial surface-exposed epitopes of naturally folded P44 proteins and mapped these epitopes to specific peptide sequences. The two MAbs almost completely blocked the infection of the A. phagocytophilum population that predominantly expressed P44-18 in HL-60 cells by distinct mechanisms: MAb 5C11 blocked the binding, but MAb 3E65 did not block binding or internalization. Instead, MAb 3E65 inhibited internalized A. phagocytophilum to develop into microcolonies called morulae. Some plasma from experimentally infected horses and mice reacted with these two epitopes. Taken together, these data indicate the presence of at least two distinct bacterial surface-exposed neutralization epitopes in P44 proteins. The results indicate that antibodies directed to certain epitopes of P44 proteins have a critical role in inhibiting A. phagocytophilum infection of host cells.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC1418626 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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