Antibodies to intimin and Escherichia coli secreted proteins A and B in patients with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli infections
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Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli produce an attaching and effacing lesion upon adhering to the intestinal epithelium. Bacterial factors involved in this histopathology include the intimin adhesin and E. coli secreted proteins (Esps) A and B. In this study we investigated the serum antibody responses to recombinant E. coli O157:H7 intimin, EspA, and EspB by immunoblotting. Canadian patients with O157:H7 infection (n=10), Swedish patients with O157:H7 (n=21), non-O157 (n=18), or infection from which the serotype was not available (n=3), and asymptomatic household members (n=25) were studied and compared with Canadian (n=20) and Swedish controls (n=52). In Canadian patients, IgG antibodies to intimin, EspA, and EspB were analyzed, in Swedish patients and their household members IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies to EspA and EspB were studied. Patients and household members mounted an antibody response to the antigens. Significantly more patients developed an acute response to EspB compared with controls (P<0.01 Canadian patients, P<0.0001 Swedish patients). EspB IgA, IgG, and IgM had a specificity of 100%, 86%, and 86%, positive predictive value of 100%, 83%, and 81%, and sensitivity of 57%, 69%, and 63%, respectively, and appear to be an appropriate assay for the detection of EHEC infection. In cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome or hemorrhagic colitis this assay may be useful when a fecal strain has not been isolated, or in epidemics of non-O157 infection.
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