Identification and cloning of immunodominant antigens of Coxiella burnetii. Academic Article uri icon


  • A sublethal-challenge model was established in BALB/c mice by using protection from the development of severe splenomegaly as an indicator of vaccinogenic activity for evaluation of the protective efficacies of vaccine candidates. To determine the immunodominant antigens as defined by reaction to an infection-derived antibody, mouse sera from different stages of experimental infection with various doses of Coxiella burnetii were tested by immunoblotting. Proteins with molecular masses of 14, 16, 21, 28, 32, 45 to 50, 57, and 60 kDa were recognized as immunodominant antigens. Antibody responses in whole-cell antigen (WCA)-vaccinated mice were compared with those in unvaccinated mice by immunoblotting using two-dimensional gel-separated C. burnetii antigens. The results indicated that there were significantly different antibody responses during different stages of vaccination and challenge, suggesting that several specific immunogenic antigens may play critical roles in the protection of mice against challenge. To clone these immunogenic antigens, a genomic DNA library of Nine Mile phase I was screened with convalescent-phase antisera from mice. Eighteen novel immunoreactive proteins with molecular masses ranging from approximately 14 to 67 kDa were cloned and identified. Interestingly, several recombinant proteins reacted with sera from both early-stage infected and WCA-vaccinated prechallenged mice. These results suggest that these proteins may play critical roles in the development of protective immunity and that they are logical candidates for vaccine and serodiagnostic reagents.

published proceedings

  • Infect Immun

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, G., Kiss, K., Seshadri, R., Hendrix, L. R., & Samuel, J. E.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Guoquan||Kiss, Katalin||Seshadri, Rekha||Hendrix, Laura R||Samuel, James E

publication date

  • February 2004