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Secretory IgA Antibody Responses to Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the Genital Secretions of Infected Females

Richard J. O'Reilly, Linda Lee and Bobby G. Welch
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 133, No. 2 (Feb., 1976), pp. 113-125
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30107224
Page Count: 13
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Secretory IgA Antibody Responses to Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the Genital Secretions of Infected Females
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Abstract

The serum and cervicovaginal secretions of six adolescent women with gonococcal cervicitis were examined and found to contain antibody of the IgA class to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The IgA antibody in the cervicovaginal secretions was of the secretory type, as shown by the fact that its concentration could be substantially reduced by absorption with an antibody specific for "secretory piece." Similar treatment of serum samples produced no reduction in titers of antibody. The local response was most frequently characterized by the prompt development of a concentration of IgA antibody exceeding that detected in the serum; local IgA levels returned to normal rapidly after the infection was terminated by appropriate antibiotic therapy. In each case studied, the quantitative and chronological features of the local response differed from those observed in the serum, a finding suggesting that the immune response generated in the genital tract was distinct from the systemic response. The possible implications of these findings in the pathogenesis of gonococcal infections were considered.

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