Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Jan;9(1):66-74.
Antibodies to 60-kilodalton heat shock protein and outer membrane protein 2 of Chlamydia pneumoniae in patients with coronary heart disease.
Ciervo A, Visca P, Petrucca A, Biasucci LM, Maseri A, Cassone A.
Department of Bacteriology and Medical Mycology, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.
Evidence linking Chlamydia pneumoniae infection to atherosclerosis and to atherothrombotic events has recently emerged. A primary candidate implicated in these pathogenetic events is the 60-kDa chlamydial heat shock protein (HSP60). Another putative candidate to activate a potential proinflammatory mechanism is the chlamydial outer membrane protein 2 (OMP2). We have generated both HSP60 and OMP2 recombinant antigens in a nondenatured form and shown that (i) the two antigens were highly immunogenic in mice and (ii) murine antisera thus generated recognized the native C. pneumoniae proteins. We measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblot assay antibody titers to the recombinant antigens in samples from 219 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), 179 patients with unstable angina (UA), 40 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and 100 age-, sex-, and risk factor-matched healthy controls. We also examined whether anti-HSP60 and/or anti-OMP2 antibodies correlated with anti-C. pneumoniae antibodies assessed by a commercial microimmunofluorescence (MIF) assay. Immunoglobulin G (IgG), but neither IgA nor IgM, antibodies against the two recombinant proteins were detected by ELISA. In particular, anti-HSP60 antibodies were detected in >99% of CHD patients versus 0% of the controls, whereas the proportions of anti-OMP2 positive subjects were >70 and 27%, respectively. Nonetheless, among CHD patients, similar frequencies of positive subjects and titers of anti-HSP60 or anti-OMP2 antibodies were present in UA and AMI subjects. The anti-OMP2, but not the anti-HSP60, antibodies showed high specificity. Consistently, high serological correlation was observed between IgG MIF titers and IgG ELISA reactivity to OMP2 but not to HSP60. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate a strong correlation between CHD and anti-HSP60 IgG levels, as measured by our in-house ELISA. They also suggest that recombinant OMP2 ELISA, because of its high specificity and strong correlation with MIF assay, could be a candidate diagnostic marker for C. pneumoniae infection, which would be of potential usefulness for its specificity and nonsubjective nature.
PMID: 11777831 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]