Clinical and immunologic significance of cholera-like toxin and cytotoxin production by Campylobacter species in patients with acute inflammatory diarrhea in the USA.
The humoral immune response to both Campylobacter jejuni cell surface antigens and to potential toxins of the organism was studied in 64 adults with inflammatory diarrhea. In an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for surface antigens, 17 (71%) of 24 persons with Campylobacter enteritis showed seroconversion in more than one immunoglobulin class, versus only 2 (5%) of 40 patients with non-Campylobacter enteritis. In a GM1, ganglioside-based ELISA for detecting serum IgG to cholera-like enterotoxin, only one patient studied showed seroconversion to the enterotoxin. Of 22 Campylobacter isolates studied for production of cholera-like toxin, none of the supernatants from the Campylobacter strains were positive. Supernatants were also tested for enterotoxin and cytotoxic activity on Chinese hamster ovary cells; all isolates were negative for enterotoxin activity. In contrast, cytotoxin was produced by 7 (32%) isolates but was usually low-level and was not neutralized by patient's serum. These findings indicate that production of cholera-like toxin and cytotoxin by Campylobacter strains in the United States occurs in few strains and that host immune response is absent; their biologic significance in the pathogenesis of Campylobacter infections remains unclear.
Perez-Perez, GI; Cohn, DL; Guerrant, RL; Patton, CM; Reller, LB; Blaser, MJ
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