M2 mitochondrial antibodies and urinary rough mutant bacteria in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and in patients with recurrent bacteriuria

J Hepatol. 1993 Mar;17(3):408-14. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(05)80225-9.


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients have a higher incidence of recurrent urinary tract infection and an increased prevalence of rough forms (mutants) of E. coli in their stool samples than other chronic liver disease patients. PBC patients exhibit autoantibody reactivity against mitochondria, the most common antigen (M2) being a family of antigens with the major components having approximate molecular weights of 74, 56, 52 and 48 kD. Cross-reactivity between M2 antigen components and corresponding antigenic bands of bacteria has been demonstrated with PBC sera. Patients with recurrent urinary tract infections, all of whom had normal liver function and were taking prophylactic antibiotic treatment, had weak anti-mitochondrial antibody (AMA) reactivity (69%), with reactivity against the 74-kD antigen alone being the most common. When antibody to the 74-kD band was eluted, it was found to cross-react with bacterial membrane fractions. In the controls, 12/77 chronic liver disease patients and 2/24 normals possessed AMA. Rough forms of bacteria were found in the urine of patients with significant bacteriuria: 39% PBC, 5.3% chronic liver disease and 41% of the recurrent urinary tract infection group. M2 antibodies may be induced by urinary organisms in 'normal' women with recurrent bacteriuria and in females with PBC.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Bacteriuria / immunology*
  • Bacteriuria / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / immunology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / microbiology
  • Mitochondria, Liver / immunology*
  • Mutation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence


  • Autoantibodies