Evaluation of the Humoral Immune Response to the Cytolethal Distending Toxin of Aggregatibacter Actinomycetemcomitans Y4 in Subjects with Localized Aggressive Periodontitis

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Departmental Papers (Dental)
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Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans
cytolethal distending toxin
localized aggressive periodontitis
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Xynogala, I.
Volgina, A.
DiRienzo, J. M.

Introduction Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is potentially one of several virulence factors of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the prime etiological agent of localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP). Little is known regarding the Cdt-specific antibody response in humans. The current study is a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the toxin-specific antibody response in a cohort of LAP patients and age-, race- and sex-matched controls. Methods Ninety-five subjects provided a total of 692 serum samples. Sera were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to determine the titers of antibody against the intact Cdt holotoxin as well as the individual subunit proteins (CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC). Neutralization of growth inhibition mediated by Cdt was evaluated in a modified colony-forming assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells. Results Fourteen of the 95 subjects exhibited significant serum Cdt-binding activity. There were no differences in the percentages of seropositive individuals or in the mean antibody titers between the control and LAP groups. Binding activity was detected against each of the three Cdt subunit proteins in all of the positive samples. Neutralization of Cdt-mediated growth inhibition was detected in samples from all of the seropositive subjects (range 20–75%). Conclusions Cdt, a recently identified A. actinomycetemcomitans virulence factor, is capable of inducing a neutralizing antibody response indicating that the toxin is produced during natural infection of humans. The failure of a vast majority (20 of 23) of the LAP subjects to mount a significant anti-Cdt response may in part explain their relative susceptibility to the disease.

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Oral Microbiology and Immunology
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