IgG4 subclass-specific responses to Staphylococcus aureus antigens shed new light on host-pathogen interaction.

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IgG4 subclass-specific responses to Staphylococcus aureus antigens shed new light on host-pathogen interaction.

Infect Immun. 2014 Nov 17;

Authors: Swierstra J, Debets S, de Vogel C, Lemmens-den Toom N, Verkaik N, Ramdani-Bouguessa N, Jonkman MF, van Dijl JM, Fahal A, van Belkum A, van Wamel W

Abstract
IgG4 responses are considered indicative for long-term or repeated exposure to particular antigens. Therefore, studying IgG4-specific antibody responses against Staphylococcus aureus might generate new insights into the respective host-pathogen interactions and the microbial virulence factors involved. Using a bead-based flow-cytometry assay, we determined total IgG (IgGt), IgG1 and IgG4 antibody responses to 40 different S. aureus virulence factors in sera from healthy persistent (non) nasal carriers and patients with various staphylococcal infections from three distinct countries. IgGt responses were detected against all tested antigens. These were mostly IgG1 responses. In contrast, IgG4 antibodies were detected to alpha toxin, CHIPS, ETA and B, HlgB, IsdA, LukD, E, F, and S, SCIN, SEC, SSL1, 3, 5 and 9 and TSST-1 only. Large inter-patient variability was observed, and the type of infection or geographical location did not reveal conserved patterns of response. As persistent S. aureus carriers trended towards IgG4 responses to a larger number of antigens than persistent non-carriers, we also investigated sera from patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic blistering disease associated with high S. aureus carriage rates. EB patients responded immunologically to significantly more antigens than non-carriers and trended towards even more responses than carriers. Altogether, we conclude that the IgG4 responses against a restricted panel of staphylococcal antigens consisting primarily of immune modulators and particular toxins indicate important roles for these virulence factors in staphylococcal pathogen-host interactions, such as chronicity of colonization and/or (subclinical) infections.

PMID: 25404029 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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