pre-exposed to a sub-minimal inhibitory concentration (sub-MIC) of several antibiotics elicits an enhanced humoral response which is protective against challenges with untreated homologous and heterologous bacteria. To characterise the specificity of this response we produced murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to aztreonam-treated O6: K-. This resulted in the identification of MAb MT 1F, of isotype IgG, that recognised a 12-kDa protein component of the untreated bacterial cells. After passive transfer, the MAb displayed protective activity in mice infected with lethal doses of live O6: K- and O111: B4. In ELISA experiments the MAb cross-reacted with structures located on whole cells of O6: K-, O111: B4, J5 and Re595 and it also exerted a bactericidal activity against live O6: K-. The modifications induced by antibiotic treatment may unmask bacterial epitopes that may elicit the production of MAbs endowed with protective capacity.


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