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, 5 (2), 67-72

Prevalence of Yersinia Plasmid-Encoded Outer Protein (Yop) Class-Specific Antibodies in Multitransfused Greek Patients With Thalassemic Syndromes

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Prevalence of Yersinia Plasmid-Encoded Outer Protein (Yop) Class-Specific Antibodies in Multitransfused Greek Patients With Thalassemic Syndromes

S. Chatzipanagiotou et al. Clin Microbiol Infect.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of class-specific antibodies (G, A, M) to Yersinia enterocolitica plasmid-encoded outer proteins (Yops), in a closely followed multitransfused population of patients with thalassemia. METHODS: Sera from 408 beta-thalassemic patients and 386 healthy blood donors used as controls were analyzed with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies to yersinia outer proteins. The Yop antigen for the ELISA was prepared using a plasmid-bearing wild-type strain of Y. enterocolitica of serotype O:8. RESULTS: Anti-Yop IgG antibodies were detected in 84 out of 408 beta-thalassemic patients (20.6%) compared with only eight out of 386 (2.1%) healthy blood donors. None of the sera of either group was positive for anti-Yop IgA or IgM antibodies. On evaluating patients with registered clinical and laboratory signs of a previous yersinia infection in the period from 1978 to 1996, we found that those with a positive agglutination test for Y. enterocolitica infection at the time of manifestation showed a higher rate of persisting IgG seropositivity to Yops than those with positive culture and clinical signs only. A significant percentage (9.49%) of the seropositive patients had no registered data of a past Y. enterocolitica infection. There was remarkable persistence of anti-Yop IgG antibodies in the thalassemic population, even in patients infected during the early years of our study period (1978--80). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the determination of class-specific antibodies to Yops, which are specific antigens for the pathogenic yersiniae (Y. enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis), in addition to its usefulness in the diagnosis of infection, will be a very sensitive and specific index for epidemiologic studies.

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