Immune response to Haemophilus parainfluenzae in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000 Jan;7(1):25-30. doi: 10.1128/CDLI.7.1.25-30.2000.


Haemophilus parainfluenzae is often isolated from the sputa of patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. We have investigated the immune response to this organism in patients with chronic bronchitis (n = 3) and bronchiectasis (n = 10) and in healthy controls (n = 9). Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of H. parainfluenzae were purified for use in enzyme-linked immunosorbent and immunoblot assays. Whole-cell H. parainfluenzae preparations were used to adsorb antibodies from serum samples, which were subsequently immunoblot assayed to investigate the antibody response to surface-exposed epitopes. Levels of H. parainfluenzae-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), but not IgA or IgM, were increased in the sera of patients with chronic obstructive lung disease compared to levels in control subjects. The species specificity of the antibody response was confirmed, although a degree of cross-reactivity with H. influenzae antigens was observed. IgA and IgG specific for OMPs of H. parainfluenzae were demonstrated to be present in the sputa and sera of five patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. Variation in the pattern and intensity of antigen recognition was observed among patients and among immunoglobulin classes. OMPs of approximately 36, 22, and 15 kDa were confirmed to possess epitopes exposed on the surface of intact H. parainfluenzae. We have demonstrated the presence of a species-specific systemic immune response to H. parainfluenzae in colonized patients. A specific antibody response was also observed in sputum, and the antigen specificity of these responses in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease was investigated for the first time. The presence of a specific immune response suggests that H. parainfluenzae may have a pathogenic role in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Aged
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Bronchiectasis / immunology
  • Bronchitis / immunology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Haemophilus Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulins / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / immunology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Middle Aged
  • Sputum / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Epitopes
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Membrane Proteins