The immunological response of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigens of was investigated. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) with either whole cells or extracted core LPS from a clinical isolate of as antigen were used to measure serum IgG and sputum IgA anti- antibodies. The ELISA with core LPS distinguished nine CF patients colonised by from nine age- and sex-matched non-colonised CF patients. The rate of increase of anti- IgG antibodies after bacteriologically proven colonisation varied in individual patients: In some patients the first isolation of was preceded or accompanied by a two-to-four-fold rise in anti- LPS IgG titres. Absorption studies and immunoblot analysis of serum from patients colonised with demonstrated that a significant component of the anti- core LPS antibodies was specific for and did not react with the core LPS of . Immunoblotting also illustrated that there may be a degree of core heterogeneity between different isolates of . Detection of LPS specific antibodies in serum (IgG) and sputum (IgA) from CF patients is recommended to assist the identification of colonisation in CF patients.


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