Catalytic antibody response to the Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor Efb

Katherine F Duncan, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Staphylococcus aureus is a globally prevalent pathogen that can cause a wide variety of acute and chronic diseases in both adults and children, in both immune susceptible populations and healthy individuals. Its ability to cause persistent infections has been linked to multiple immune evasion strategies, including Efb-mediated complement inhibition. As new multi-drug-resistant strains emerge, therapeutic alternatives to traditional antibiotics must be developed. These experiments assessed the ability of healthy patient immunoglobulin to cleave Efb and disable the complement-inhibitory properties of Efb in vitro. Levels of immunoglobulin-mediated Efb catalysis varied both between immunoglobulin isoform/isotype and between individuals. Serum IgG showed the strongest catalytic activity of the immunoglobulin isotypes tested. Additionally, IgG hydrolyzed the virulence factor in a way that enabled only minimal binding to the complement component C3b, effectively blocking Efb-mediated inhibition of complement lysis. Salivary IgA and serum IgM did not block Efb-mediated inhibition of complement. Catalytic IgG selectively cleaved Efb and showed no cleavage of a variety of other proteins tested. Catalytic activity of IgG was inhibited by serine protease inhibitors, but not by other protease inhibitors, suggesting a serine-protease mechanism of catalysis. It is proposed that varying concentrations and activity levels of catalytic IgG between healthy individuals and those with current or recurrent S. aureus infections in both adult and pediatric populations be studied in order to assess the potential effectiveness of passive immunization therapy with catalytic monoclonal IgG.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology|Immunology

Recommended Citation

Duncan, Katherine F, "Catalytic antibody response to the Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor Efb" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445488.