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Resolution Of Chlamydial Genital Infection In B-cell-deficient Mice And Immunity To Reinfection

K. Ramsey, L. Soderberg, R. Rank
Published 1988 · Medicine, Biology

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relative roles of the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in the resolution of chlamydial genital infection of mice and resistance to reinfection. To this end, female BALB/c mice were rendered B cell deficient by treatment with heterologous anti-immunoglobulin M (IgM) serum from birth. Controls were similarly treated with either normal serum or phosphate-buffered saline. Before inclusion in each experiment, anti-IgM-treated mice were screened for the absence of IgM in serum and for the presence of cell-mediated immune responses. In addition, spleen cells from anti-IgM-treated mice responded to concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin but not to lipopolysaccharide. By these criteria, mice were designated B cell deficient. B-cell-deficient mice and controls were inoculated intravaginally with a suspension of mouse pneumonitis agent (MoPn), a Chlamydia trachomatis biovar. All B-cell-deficient mice resolved the infection. Additionally, no significant difference was seen in the course of the infection in B-cell-deficient mice when compared with controls. In contrast to control mice, B-cell-deficient mice displayed no detectable antibody responses to MoPn in serum or in genital secretions. However, both B-cell-deficient mice and controls developed delayed-type hypersensitivity and T-cell proliferative responses to MoPn. When challenged 53 days after primary infection, no significant difference was seen in the resistance of B-cell-deficient mice to reinfection when compared with that of the controls. These data indicate that cell-mediated immune mechanisms play an important role in the resolution of and resistance to chlamydial genital infection in this model.
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