Agglutination of Naegleria fowleri and Naegleria gruberi by antibodies in human serum.
The capability of serum samples from 423 human subjects to agglutinate rounded cells of Naegleria fowleri nN68 was assessed. Sera from the umbilical cords of seven infants failed to agglutinate N. fowleri cells. The median agglutination titer was 1:4 for sera from children through age 4 years, 1:8 for sera from juveniles 5 to 15 years of age, and 1:16 for sera from subjects 15 to 30 years old. The agglutination titers of sera from older adults decreased to a median of 1:8 for the 40- to 60-year-old age group and to 1:4 for the 60- to 90-year-old subjects. Serum samples from young adults agglutinated rounded cells of both N. fowleri and N. gruberi. The agglutination activity for N. fowleri was removed by absorption with N. fowleri but not with N. gruberi. Conversely, agglutination activity for N. gruberi was removed by absorption with N. gruberi but not with N. fowleri. The agglutinating activity for N. fowleri was immunoglobulin M. Serum samples from children displayed markedly disparate capabilities to agglutinate N. fowleri and N. gruberi. Only rounded cells of N. fowleri or N. gruberi were reliably agglutinated by human serum samples. Live or paraformaldehyde-killed cells could be used in the assay, but live N. gruberi cells returned to the amoeboid form, and these agglutinated poorly.
Reilly, MF; Marciano-Cabral, F; Bradley, DW; Bradley, SG
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