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Open Access Research article

Monoclonal antibodies against the iron regulated outer membrane Proteins of Acinetobacter baumannii are bactericidal

Vikas Kumar Goel12 and Arti Kapil1*

Author Affiliations

1 Dept. of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi,110029, India

2 Dept of BioMedical Research, Division of Hematology and Oncology, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston, Tufts University School of Medical Sciences, Boston, MA, 02135, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2001, 1:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-1-16

Published: 9 August 2001

Abstract

Background

Iron is an important nutrient required by all forms of life.In the case of human hosts,the free iron availability is 10-18M,which is far less than what is needed for the survival of the invading bacterial pathogen.To survive in such conditions, bacteria express new proteins in their outer membrane and also secrete iron chelators called siderophores.

Results/ Discussion

Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 19606, a nosocomial pathogen which grows under iron restricted conditions, expresses four new outer membrane proteins,with molecular weight ranging from 77 kDa to 88 kDa, that are called Iron Regulated Outer Membrane Proteins (IROMPs). We studied the functional and immunological properties of IROMPs expressed by A.baumanii ATCC 19606.The bands corresponding to IROMPs were eluted from SDS-PAGE and were used to immunize BALB/c mice for the production of monoclonal antibodies. Hybridomas secreting specific antibodies against these IROMPs were selected after screening by ELISA and their reactivity was confirmed by Western Blot. The antibodies then generated belonged to IgM isotype and showed bactericidical and opsonising activities against A.baumanii in vitro.These antibodies also blocked siderophore mediated iron uptake via IROMPs in bacteria.

Conclusion

This proves that iron uptake via IROMPs,which is mediated through siderophores,may have an important role in the survival of A.baumanii inside the host,and helps establishing the infection.