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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Humoral response in Treponema pallidum-infected guinea pigs. II. Circulating immune complexes and autoimmune responses.

Guinea pigs of inbred strain 2 and of a strain deficient in complement component 4 (C4D) responded to intradermal infection with Treponema pallidum by production of antibodies to treponemal antigens, normal rabbit serum proteins, fibronectin, and creatine kinase and with formation of circulating immune complexes (IC). IC started to appear at low concentrations 1 mo after infection and increased between 3 and 5 mo post-infection. Antibodies to fibronectin appeared after the second month but were not detectable 30 days later. Antibody activity to creatine kinase was detectable at the fourth month and became significantly higher at 5 mo post-infection. Reinoculation with a dose similar to that used for primary infection caused a significant increase in all antibodies and IC. Dissociation products of IC formed after primary infection consisted predominantly of treponemal antibodies and antigens, whereas IC detected after reinfection consisted predominantly of antibodies and normal rabbit serum proteins. Antibodies to fibronectin and creatine kinase are considered autoantibodies, and the underlying mechanism responsible for their production in syphilis is discussed.[1]


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