Humoral immunity in mice mediated by monoclonal antibodies against the A and M antigens of Brucella

J Med Microbiol. 1989 Sep;30(1):37-43. doi: 10.1099/00222615-30-1-37.


All smooth strains of Brucella bear two lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigens in a ratio that defines the classification of strains in serovars, A (A greater than M), M (M greater than A) and A.M (A = M). Anti-LPS-A monoclonal antibodies (MAb-A) were previously shown to convey protection to mice against B. abortus (A) strain 544, as shown by lower spleen counts than in controls at days 7 and 21 after challenge. Anti-LPS-M monoclonal antibodies (MAb-M) were obtained and tested for M-specificity with LPS from reference strains by ELISA, by agglutination of LPS-coated latex particles, and by inhibition of this agglutination. Antigens A and M of three strains were quantified by a homologous LPS-latex and MAb agglutination inhibition assay. Protection conferred by MAb-A and MAb-M against three strains, B. abortus 544 (A), B. abortus 292 (M) and B. melitensis H38 (M), was tested at equivalent challenge and MAb doses: intravenous challenge was adjusted to give similar infection at day 7; MAb doses were adjusted to the same specific ELISA titre. Under these conditions, MAb-A and MAb-M conferred both early and late protection, as shown at days 7 and 21, against the strains that bore the homologous major antigen, i.e., strain 544 on one hand and strains H38 and 292 on the other. In contrast, MAb directed against the minor antigen of the challenge strain conferred significant protection at day 7 only with strains 544 and H38 and no or inconsistent protection against strain 292, which expressed the lowest amount of minor antigen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination Tests
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Brucella / immunology*
  • Brucella abortus / immunology*
  • Brucellosis / immunology*
  • Brucellosis / prevention & control
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Species Specificity


  • A antigen (Brucella abortus)
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • M antigen, Brucella melitensis