Serum antibody in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans-infected patients with periodontal disease

J. L. Ebersole, M. N. Sandoval, M. J. Steffen, D. Cappelli

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51 Scopus citations


This study was designed to (i) delineate the characteristics of serum antibody responses to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in patients with periodontitis who are infected with A. actinomycetemcomitans; irrespective of disease classification; (ii) assess the relationship of the elevated antibody levels to colonization of the oral cavity by A. actinomycetemcomitans; and (iii) describe the serotype distribution of A. actinomycetemcomitans and antibodies to the microorganism in infected patients with various clinical classifications. To compare the levels of various isotype-specific antibodies to the different antigens, studies were performed that allowed quantitation of each isotype-specific antibody in a human reference standard. By using this reference standard, it was shown that the levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, and IgA responses to A. actinomycetemcomitans were similar among the infected patients, irrespective of disease classification. Also, we demonstrated that the serum antibody response to serotype b was quantitatively greater in all isotypes. Our findings indicate that b was the most frequent A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype detected in the patients and appears to be capable of initiating a substantial serum IgG antibody response that may contain cross-reactive antibodies to other serotypes of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Generally, in cases in which the response to a single serotype was elevated, only that type of A. actinomycetemcomitans was detected in the plaque. Individuals exhibiting elevated antibodies to multiple serotypes were most consistently colonized by the serotype b microorganism. This study represents the first report detailing the distribution of IgG subclass antibodies to A. actinomycetemcomitans in periodontal disease. The results demonstrated that the primary responses of patients with periodontitis to A. actinomycetemcomitans were of the IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses, which is consistent with elicited responses to protein antigens. In contrast, the primary subclass response in normal subjects was limited to the IgG2 subclass and may represent broader cross-reactivity to polysaccharide antigens-lipopolysaccharide from the bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1795-1802
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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