Quantitative and temporal analyses of murine antibody response in serum and gut secretions to infection with Giardia muris.
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We analyzed the appearance and level of Giardia muris-specific antibody of immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG, and IgM isotypes, at weekly intervals, over the course of a 7-week infection in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Using sensitive immunoradiometric assays, we observed that IgA antibody was the only detectable anti-G. muris antibody in intestinal secretions throughout the course of infection. No secreted IgG or IgM anti-G. muris antibody was detected even in concentrated intestinal secretions. The expulsion of G. muris by the mice was associated closely with the appearance and increasing levels of secreted anti-G. muris IgA antibody. Both IgG and IgA serum antibody to G. muris were detected, but no serum IgM antibody was detected. Serum IgA and IgG anti-G. muris antibody remained at high levels up to 10 weeks following clearance of the parasite. An interesting observation indicated that serum IgA antibody to G. muris developed more slowly in response to infection than secreted IgA antibody. An analysis of the molecular weight distribution of total serum IgA in infected mice determined that infection produced a transient but significant shift in serum IgA to high-molecular-weight (greater than or equal to dimeric IgA) forms. The results indicate that a substantial IgA antibody response occurs in sera and in gut secretions of G. muris-resistant mice and that IgA antibody is the dominant and possibly the only effector antibody active in intestinal secretions during G. muris infection in mice.
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