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Immunoblot cross-reactions among Rickettsia, Proteus spp. and Legionella spp. in patients with Mediterranean spotted fever

D. Raoult, G.A. Dasch
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.1995.tb00073.x 13-18 First published online: 1 March 1995


Sera from patients suffering from Mediterranean spotted fever (i.e. an infection due to Rickettsia conorii) were studied by immunoblot to investigate cross-reactivity. A prevalence of IgM antibodies to Proteus OX 19, Proteus 0X 2, to the Rickettsia typhus group, to Legionella pneumophila serovars 4 and 5, to L. bozemanii Wiga and to L. micdadei Tatlock was found. Western blot confirmed that the antibodies were directed against the lipopolysaccharide as demonstrated by proteinase K digestion of the antigens. Cross-adsorptions showed that there is a common cross-reacting epitope among L. bozemanii Wiga, R. typhi and Proteus OX 19 but cross-reacting antibodies to L. micdadei and OX 2 were distinct and independent. This IgM cross-reaction could lead to a misdiagnosis.

  • Immunoblot cross-reaction
  • Rickettsia
  • Legionella
  • Lipopolysaccharide

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