A whole genome scale proteome array consisting of 908 open reading frames encoded in Chlamydia trachomatis genome and plasmid was used to profile anti-chlamydial Ab responses. A total of 719 chlamydial proteins was recognized by one or more antisera from 99 women urogenitally infected with C. trachomatis. Revealing such a large C. trachomatis ANTIGENome in humans might partially be attributed to the significantly improved detection sensitivity of the whole genome scale proteome array assay because both linear and conformation-dependent Abs were detected by the array assay. Twenty-seven of the 719 Ags were recognized by ≥50% antisera, thus designated as immunodominant Ags. Comparison of Ag profiles recognized by live chlamydial organism-infected versus dead organism-immunized hosts led to the identification of infection-dependent or in vivo expressed Ags. The infection-dependent Ags induced Abs only in live organism-infected, but not in dead organism-immunized hosts. Many of these Ags were highly expressed during replication, but only minimally packaged into the infectious elementary bodies. Because inactivated whole chlamydial organism-based vaccines failed to induce protection in humans, identification of the infection-dependent or in vivo expressed immunodominant Ags in humans should greatly facilitate the selection of promising chlamydial subunit vaccine candidates for further evaluation. This approach may also be applicable to other pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy