Seric and secretory antibodies reactive to alpha, beta and gamma intimins of Escherichia coli in healthy Brazilian adults

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2009 Oct;57(1):32-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2009.00576.x. Epub 2009 Jun 15.


Intimin is essential for attaching and effacing lesions by pathogens such as enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), and the antigenic polymorphism of intimin determines distinct subtypes. Our aim was to investigate the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA antibodies reactive to alpha, beta and gamma intimins in serum and colostrum from healthy Brazilian adults. We found seric IgG and secretory IgA antibodies reactive to conserved and variable regions of alpha, beta and gamma intimins and a positive correlation between the concentrations of these antibodies in both serum and colostrum that suggested cross reactivity among anti-intimin antibodies, as was confirmed by immunoblotting and absorption. The concentrations of anti-conserved region antibodies were higher than those of variable region antibodies. The presence of antibodies reactive to EHEC antigens could result from contact with EPEC or with other bacteria of the environment even though this bacterium is not frequent in Brazil, and suggests possible protection against EHEC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Blood Donors
  • Brazil
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Serum / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • eaeA protein, E coli