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An Intermolecular Mechanism Of T Cell Help For The Production Of Antibodies To The Bacterial Pathogen, Chlamydia Trachomatis

J. Allen, R. Stephens
Published 1993 · Biology, Medicine

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Antibodies that neutralize infectivity are directed at the antigenically variant major outer membrane protein (MOMP) of Chlamydia trachomatis. A vaccine for chlamydia will need to include T cell determinants that elicit T helper (Th) cells which provide help to MOMP‐specific B cells. A limited number of determinants on MOMP are able to elicit Th cells and sequence diversity in the MOMP molecule may alter T cell recognition of these determinants. We investigated whether two sequence invariant proteins of C. trachomatis that are both abundant and immunogenic could elicit T cell help for the production of antibody to MOMP. We found that outer membrane protein 2 (OMP2) but not outer membrane protein 3 (OMP3) was able to prime BALB/c mice for an anamnestic anti‐MOMP response following boost with the intact organism. This demonstration of an intermolecular mechanism of T cell help in a bacterial system has important implications for the development of a chlamydial vaccine as well as the design of vaccines for other antigenically variant non‐viral pathogens.
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