Antigenic analysis of four species of the genus Ehrlichia by use of protein immunoblot

Mramba Nyindo From the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya Karen-Nairobi, Kenya (Nyindo) and the Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Kakoma, Hansen).

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Ibulaimu Kakoma From the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya Karen-Nairobi, Kenya (Nyindo) and the Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Kakoma, Hansen).

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Richard Hansen From the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya Karen-Nairobi, Kenya (Nyindo) and the Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Kakoma, Hansen).

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Summary

The antigenic profile of Ehrlichia canis, E risticii, E sennetsu, and E equi was investigated by the use of protein (western) immunoblot technique. Results of analysis of serum from acutely and chronically infected animals indicated that the 4 Ehrlichia species share a unique 25- kD polypeptide in addition to other peptides. Immune sera from dogs inoculated with E canis recognized a wide range of E canis polypeptide antigens, as determined by western blot analysis. A larger number of E sennetsu polypeptides were detected when homologous antiserum and antiserum to E equi were used. The latter antiserum did not recognize antigens of E canis or E risticii. Antisera to E canis, E risticii, and E sennetsu detected E equi antigens. Data indicate that a 25-kD protein is a common antigen among the species of the genus Ehrlichia and that the ascending order of abundance of immunodominant determinants in the 4 species of Ehrlichia studied would be: E risticiiE equiE sennetsuE canis. Implications of these findings for diagnosis of ehrlichial infections and prophylaxis are evident.

Summary

The antigenic profile of Ehrlichia canis, E risticii, E sennetsu, and E equi was investigated by the use of protein (western) immunoblot technique. Results of analysis of serum from acutely and chronically infected animals indicated that the 4 Ehrlichia species share a unique 25- kD polypeptide in addition to other peptides. Immune sera from dogs inoculated with E canis recognized a wide range of E canis polypeptide antigens, as determined by western blot analysis. A larger number of E sennetsu polypeptides were detected when homologous antiserum and antiserum to E equi were used. The latter antiserum did not recognize antigens of E canis or E risticii. Antisera to E canis, E risticii, and E sennetsu detected E equi antigens. Data indicate that a 25-kD protein is a common antigen among the species of the genus Ehrlichia and that the ascending order of abundance of immunodominant determinants in the 4 species of Ehrlichia studied would be: E risticiiE equiE sennetsuE canis. Implications of these findings for diagnosis of ehrlichial infections and prophylaxis are evident.

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