Immunochemical analysis of immune response to Chlamydia trachomatis in Reiter's syndrome and nonspecific urethritis

Clin Exp Immunol. 1987 Aug;69(2):246-54.


Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) has been proposed as a causative agent in Reiter's syndrome (RS) when an infection occurs in a susceptible host. To assess whether this susceptibility is reflected in a characteristic humoral immune response we compared patients with complicated (RS) and uncomplicated courses of nonspecific urethritis (NSU). Geometric mean titres of antibodies to C. trachomatis by immunofluorescence were 89.6 for RS, 80.0 for NSU and 16.0 for normals. 125I-Protein A probing of immunoblotted antigens of C. trachomatis revealed no band unique to RS. 125I-anti-IgA probing of immunoblots demonstrated reactivity with the 59,000 dalton antigen in 11/11 RS and 2/6 NSU. The major outer membrane protein of C. trachomatis (40,000 daltons) bound immunoglobulin nonspecifically. There was no clearly differentiating feature between HLA-B27-positive and B27-negative RS. One sequentially studied patient revealed an augmentation in synovial fluid IgA reactivity during the course of disease. No pattern of humoral immune response to C. trachomatis could be regarded as specific for RS nor for HLA B27-positivity. The study did not identify a Reiter's-specific antigen in C. trachomatis but demonstrates the usefulness of applying blotting techniques to population studies of HLA modulation of immune response to infectious agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Arthritis, Reactive / immunology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Male
  • Urethritis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin A