Vaccination of Lewis rats against Mycoplasma arthritidis- induced arthritis

Leigh Rice Washburn From the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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Shannon Hirsch From the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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Matt McKenzie From the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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LeRoy L. Voelker From the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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Summary

The nature of Mycoplasma arthritidis antigens responsible for eliciting protective immunity in rats was studied by inoculation of rats with mycoplasmal components that had been subjected to a variety of physical and chemical treatments. All inocula tested induced good protection against development of clinical illness, as assessed by changes in body weight and appearance of joint swelling and/or temporary hind limb paralysis. Although all preparations stimulated development in inoculated rats of high titer of antimycoplasmal antibodies measured by elisa, the complement-fixation antibody response was poor and, in some cases, lacking altogether. This indicated that completion-fixation antibodies may not be involved in protecting rats against M arthritidis-indaced illness.

Protective antigens were stable to heat (100 C for 10 minutes), formalin, and denaturation by sodium dodecyl sulfate (sds). Inoculation with membrane and soluble cytoplasmic fractions was protective, as was inoculation with 5 M arthritidis fractions separated according to molecular weight by sds-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (sds-page). For this latter experiment, rat antisera obtained after vaccination, but prior to challenge exposure, were tested by immunoblot analysis against electrophoretically separated M arthritidis membrane proteins. Interestingly, all antisera from these rats recognized antigens migrating far outside the molecular weight range of the cell fractions with which rats were inoculated. This indicated either that the protective antigens may be composed of numerous antigenically related subunits that separated by sds-page into a variety of molecular weight ranges or that a few major antigens may exist in several forms or phases within a given population of M arthritidis.

Summary

The nature of Mycoplasma arthritidis antigens responsible for eliciting protective immunity in rats was studied by inoculation of rats with mycoplasmal components that had been subjected to a variety of physical and chemical treatments. All inocula tested induced good protection against development of clinical illness, as assessed by changes in body weight and appearance of joint swelling and/or temporary hind limb paralysis. Although all preparations stimulated development in inoculated rats of high titer of antimycoplasmal antibodies measured by elisa, the complement-fixation antibody response was poor and, in some cases, lacking altogether. This indicated that completion-fixation antibodies may not be involved in protecting rats against M arthritidis-indaced illness.

Protective antigens were stable to heat (100 C for 10 minutes), formalin, and denaturation by sodium dodecyl sulfate (sds). Inoculation with membrane and soluble cytoplasmic fractions was protective, as was inoculation with 5 M arthritidis fractions separated according to molecular weight by sds-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (sds-page). For this latter experiment, rat antisera obtained after vaccination, but prior to challenge exposure, were tested by immunoblot analysis against electrophoretically separated M arthritidis membrane proteins. Interestingly, all antisera from these rats recognized antigens migrating far outside the molecular weight range of the cell fractions with which rats were inoculated. This indicated either that the protective antigens may be composed of numerous antigenically related subunits that separated by sds-page into a variety of molecular weight ranges or that a few major antigens may exist in several forms or phases within a given population of M arthritidis.

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