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

Antibodies to Haemophilus influenzae type b outer membrane proteins in children with epiglottitis or meningitis and in healthy controls.

The two most common manifestations of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection in Western communities are meningitis and epiglottitis. The role of antibodies against outer membrane proteins ( OMP) in the pathogenesis of these diseases was investigated by Western blotting (immunoblotting) with an OMP antigen prepared from a local Hib strain. Acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples from 25 children with epiglottitis and 20 with meningitis and single serum samples from 19 control children in the same age group were tested. Western blots were evaluated quantitatively by use of graphs generated from a densitometer. OMP antibody was detected in all sera from patients and controls. There was no significant difference between the mean antibody level in acute-phase sera from children with meningitis (336 +/- 143 arbitrary units) and those from children with epiglottitis (286 +/- 134 arbitrary units). However, the mean OMP antibody level in sera from healthy controls, with no known history of Hib disease, was significantly higher than that in sera from patients with Hib disease within 2 days of admission to the hospital (patients [n = 35], 282 +/- 144; controls [n = 19], 425 +/- 236; P = 0.007). The difference was due mainly to higher levels, in control sera, of antibody against four proteins, one of which is either P1 or a comigrating protein of 49 kDa. The finding of higher levels of OMP antibody in healthy controls suggests a protective role for antibodies directed against one or more OMP. This information could be exploited in future vaccine development.[1]


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