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1.  Antibodies to actin in autoimmune haemolytic anaemia 
Background
In autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA), autoreactive antibodies directed against red blood cells are up-regulated, leading to erythrocyte death. Mycoplasma suis infections in pigs induce AIHA of both the warm and cold types. The aim of this study was to identify the target autoantigens of warm autoreactive IgG antibodies. Sera from experimentally M. suis-infected pigs were screened for autoreactivity.
Results
Actin-reactive antibodies were found in the sera of 95% of all animals tested. The reactivity was species-specific, i.e. reactivity with porcine actin was significantly higher than with rabbit actin. Sera of animals previously immunised with the M. suis adhesion protein MSG1 showed reactivity with actin prior to infection with M. suis indicating that molecular mimicry is involved in the specific autoreactive mechanism. A potentially cross-reactive epitope was detected.
Conclusions
This is the first report of autoreactive anti-actin antibodies involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-18
PMCID: PMC3003239  PMID: 20353574
2.  Use of Recombinant Antigens To Detect Antibodies against Mycoplasma suis, with Correlation of Serological Results to Hematological Findings▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2007;14(12):1616-1622.
Porcine eperythrozoonosis is a disease with worldwide distribution caused by the unculturable hemotrophic bacterium Mycoplasma suis. Current serological testing utilizes crude M. suis antigens purified from the blood of experimentally infected pigs. These antigens show high variability and are restricted to specialized laboratories. We evaluated a novel serological assay based on two recombinant M. suis antigens (rMSG1 and rHspA1). Antigen specificity was proven by means of sera raised against nonhemotrophic mycoplasma and other relevant bacteria. Using experimental and convalescent-phase sera, rMSG1 and rHspA1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) demonstrated sensitivities, specificities, and predictive values (94.0 to 100.0%) equal to or higher than those of the M. suis whole-cell ELISA. Field samples from 120 weaning piglets grouped by quantitative PCR results were used to evaluate the diagnostic capability of the new ELISA systems in comparison to that of the whole-cell ELISA. Assuming a 100.0% specificity of the PCR, the whole-cell ELISA, rHspA1 ELISA, and rMSG1 ELISA showed specificities of 84.8%, 83.8%, and 90.6% and sensitivities of 61.5%, 74.0% and 58.1%, respectively. Cohen's kappa coefficients comparing the recombinant ELISAs to the whole-cell ELISA indicate moderate to substantial agreement. The detection of anti-MSG1 and/or anti-HspA1 antibodies in pigs was significantly correlated with decreased hematocrit, erythrocyte numbers, and hemoglobin concentrations, indicating that a single seropositive result is connected with clinical and etiological significance. In conclusion, rMSG1 and rHspA1 are sensitive and specific serological and infection markers which are for the first time used independently of animal experiments. They are especially fit to be used in routine diagnosis, pathogenesis studies, and large-scale epidemiological investigations.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00345-07
PMCID: PMC2168379  PMID: 17942612
3.  Zoonotic Potential of Enterocytozoon bieneusi 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(12):4495-4499.
The reservoirs and the modes of transmission of the most frequent microsporidial species in humans, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, are still unknown. We have examined fecal samples of 26 humans and 350 animals from 37 species to find 18 samples containing this parasite from humans, cats, pigs, cattle, and a llama. Genotypic characterization of the internal transcribed spacer of the rRNA gene resulted in 14 different genotypes, 6 of them previously undescribed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the lack of a transmission barrier between E. bieneusi from humans and animals (cats, pigs, and cattle). Thus, E. bieneusi appears to be a zoonotic pathogen.
doi:10.1128/JCM.39.12.4495-4499.2001
PMCID: PMC88572  PMID: 11724868

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