Moraxella catarrhalis expresses surface receptor proteins that specifically bind host transferrin (Tf) and lactoferrin (Lf) in the first step of the iron acquisition pathway. Acute- and convalescent-phase antisera from a series of patients with M. catarrhalis pulmonary infections were tested against Tf and Lf receptor proteins purified from the corresponding isolates. After the purified proteins had been separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting, we observed strong reactivity against Tf-binding protein B (TbpB; also called OMP1) and Lf-binding protein B (LbpB) but little or no reactivity against Tf-binding protein A (TbpA) or Lf-binding protein A (LbpA), using the convalescent- phase antisera. Considerable antigenic heterogeneity was observed when TbpBs and LbpBs isolated from different strains were tested with the convalescent- phase antisera. Comparison to the reactivity against electroblotted total cellular proteins revealed that the immune response against LbpB and TbpB constitutes a significant portion of the total detectable immune response to M. catarrhalis proteins. Preparations of affinity-isolated TbpA and LbpA reacted with convalescent-phase antisera in a solid-phase binding assay, but blocking with soluble TbpB, soluble LbpB, or extracts from an LbpA- mutant demonstrated that this reactivity was attributed to contaminants in the TbpA and LbpA preparations. These studies demonstrate the immunogenicity of M. catarrhalis TbpB and LbpB in humans and support their potential as vaccine candidates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases