RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Lack of serologically defined arthritogenic Shigella flexneri cell envelope antigens in post-dysenteric arthritis.

Immunology Letters 1986 October
Post-dysenteric or reactive arthritis (ReA) is closely associated with HLA-B27. This histocompatibility antigen is heterogeneous and consists of 2 serologically defined variants: B27M1+M2+ and B27M1+M2-. This paper gives a qualitative evaluation of the antibodies present in the sera of 62 patients with dysentery due to Shigella flexneri 2a, a known arthritogenic bacterium. The patients were classified in 4 groups: B27M1+M2+ReA+ (n = 5), B27M1+M2+ReA- (n = 7); B27M1+M2-ReA- (n = 1); B27-ReA- (n = 49). The isolated infectant possessed cell envelope antigens with B27M2-like epitopes (Mr 20,000). Analysis of the spectrum of antibodies directed against the separated cell envelope antigens of S. flexneri in the sera of these patients revealed 7 main patterns of reactivity. The detectable immunogens encompassed protein stainable antigens (Mr 98, 78, 68, 54, 50, 44, 41, 35, 14 and 13 kDa), lipopolysaccharides and peptidoglycan. None of the sera possessed detectable antibodies to the B27M2-like antigen. Consequently, this antigen is unlikely to be associated with ReA, and this applies equally to other antigens or patterns of antigens. The arthritogenicity of S. flexneri may therefore not be determined by the presence or absence of detectable antibody titers to certain cell envelope antigens. We hypothesize that other properties of these antigens could be of significance.

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