Pseudomonas aeruginosa antibody response in cystic fibrosis decreases rapidly following lung transplantation

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Background: Specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) precipitating immunoglobulin G antibodies in serum are correlated with PA biofilm infection and are used as diagnostic and prognostic markers in cystic fibrosis (CF). The aim of this study was to examine the change of PA antibody response in CF patients after bilateral sequential lung transplantation (LTx). Methods: PA antibodies and airway bacteriology were retrospectively evaluated in 20 chronically infected CF patients, who underwent LTx between 2001 and 2016 at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen. Yearly precipitin counts from one year before LTx and up to five years after LTx were compared. Monthly airway cultures were examined in the five-year period after LTx. In addition, crossed immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) were analysed for each patient for antigenic similarities from time of infection, pre-LTx and post-LTx. Results: All patients experienced a significant drop in PA antibodies from one year pre-LTx to one year post-LTx (p < 0.0001). The PA antibody level did not differ between those, who became reinfected immediately after LTx, and those, who did not. No patients regained the high pre-LTx precipitin levels in the following five years. The antigenic specificities of the sera post-LTx were in each patient similar to the antigenic specificities at the beginning of infection indicating a decades long memory of their immune response like an “immunological fingerprint”. Conclusions: After LTx a significant and continuous reduction in PA antibodies was observed. The reduction was independent of immediate reinfection after LTx. A novel three-factor explanatory model is presented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

    Research areas

  • Cystic fibrosis, Humoral response, Lung transplantation, Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ID: 236723187