Antigen Specificity of the Humoral Immune Response to Mycoplasma haemofelis Infection

IR Peters, CR Helps, TJ Gruffydd-Jones, MJ Day, S Tasker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to characterize the antigenic specificity of the humoral immune response made by cats infected with the feline hemoplasma, Mycoplasma haemofelis. A crude M. haemofelis antigen preparation was prepared from red blood cells (RBCs) collected from a cat at the time of a high level of bacteremia. Plasma samples were collected from six cats before and after experimental infection with M. haemofelis, with regular sampling being performed from 15 to 149 or 153 days postinfection (dpi). Preinfection RBC membrane ghosts were prepared from these six cats and used to identify erythrocyte proteins that may have contaminated the M. haemofelis antigen preparation. The M. haemofelis antigen preparation comprised 11 protein bands. The immunodominant bands on Western blotting with infected cat plasma had molecular masses of 78, 68, 60, 48, and 38 kDa. Most cats (n = 5) had plasma antibody that reacted with at least one band (always including the one of 68 kDa) at 15 dpi, and all cats were seroreactive by 29 dpi. The maximum number of antibodies from an individual animal specific for an antigen was identified in plasma collected from 57 to 99 dpi. Contamination of the M. haemofelis antigen preparation with RBC membrane proteins was observed. The contaminating RBC proteins had molecular masses of from 71 to 72 kDa (consistent with band 4.2) and 261 and 238 kDa (consistent with spectrin), and these were recognized by all plasma samples. A range of M. haemofelis antigens is recognized by cats infected experimentally with the organism. These represent possible targets for immunoassays, but care must be taken to prevent false-positive results due to host protein contamination.
Translated title of the contributionAntigen Specificity of the Humoral Immune Response to Mycoplasma haemofelis Infection
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238 - 1243
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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