Differential human serologic response to two 60,000 molecular weight Chlamydia trachomatis antigens

J Infect Dis. 1990 Oct;162(4):922-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/162.4.922.


Chlamydia trachomatis causes sexually transmitted diseases and is associated with serious long-term sequelae such as tubal infertility and ectopic pregnancy. There have been suggestions that chlamydial antigens of approximately 57,000-60,000 Mr may be involved in the immunopathology. Two important chlamydial antigens of 57,000-60,000 Mr are a Triton X-100-soluble antigen, which induces hypersensitivity in ocular models, and a sarcosyl-insoluble cysteine-rich structural protein, omp2. In this study, a 57,000 Mr Triton X-100-soluble protein was characterized as the chlamydial homolog of groEL, a heat shock protein. Using protein fractions, antibody responses of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy patients to chlamydial groEL and omp2 were differentiated. Nearly all patients in both groups were reactive to omp2. Of those with titers greater than or equal to 1:512, 31% of PID sera and 81% of ectopic pregnancy sera were positive for chlamydial groEL (P = .004). This selectivity suggests that women with PID who develop chronic sequelae are those with antibody to groEL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Chemical Fractionation
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins