Staphylococcal protein A (SpA) is a potent antiphagocytic component of the cell wall of most pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus strains. We studied the in vitro opsonophagocytic and in vivo protective activities of rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to purified SpA obtained from two unencapsulated S. aureus strains (Cowan I and 17A). Postimmune serum contained high titers of specific IgG to SpA, as measured by a modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that blocked nonspecific binding of IgG to SpA. In vitro, both S. aureus strains were efficiently phagocytosed and killed by polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the presence of nonimmune sera and complement. With one strain (Cowan I), opsonophagocytosis was significantly enhanced in the presence of SpA antibody, but with the other strain (17A), killing was significantly decreased with immune serum. We then evaluated the potential protective benefit of SpA antibody in preventing S. aureus bacteremia in infant rats. Two-day-old rats received saline or various doses of SpA antiserum and were challenged subcutaneously 1 day later, but even the highest levels of antibody did not significantly reduce mortality, bacteremia or metastatic infection to lungs or liver (frequency or magnitude). This lack of protective efficacy was not related to a failure of SpA F(ab')2 to bind to cell surface-exposed epitopes, since F(ab')2 fragments prepared from hyperimmune serum bound avidly to the whole organism in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases