The evolution of antibody response in armadillos inoculated with Mycobacterium leprae.Lepr Rev. 1990 Sep; 61(3):215-26.LR
Plasma from 30 armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) was collected prior to inoculation and at approximately 3-month intervals for a period of 1-3 years. These animals were inoculated intravenously with 6.1 x 10(8) +/- 2 x 10(8) (x +/- SD) armadillo-derived Mycobacterium leprae. These samples were analysed for antibodies of IgM and IgG class to phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) and to sonicated M. leprae components using ELISA and immunoblotting techniques, respectively. We had previously observed among a group of 11 armadillos, that some animals produced and maintained a high IgG antibody response to PGL-I. In this study, an animal's ability to produce and maintain an elevated IgG anti-PGL-I response was significantly correlated with their ability to delay dissemination of the infection and their ability to survive longer. When the animals were moribund, a significant decrease in the IgG anti-PGL-I absorbance value was observed. The detection of PGL-I in the plasma samples collected from moribund armadillos suggested that high concentrations of PGL-I in the plasma may have contributed to a drop in absorbance values by the formation of non-lattice-type immune complexes in vivo. As detected by immunoblotting, the IgM and IgG response to antigens derived from sonically disrupted M. leprae was directed towards molecules with broad bands of immunoreactivity ranging from 21- to 45-kDa. There were no distinguishing features of these antibody responses among armadillos as was evident with the IgG anti-PGL-I responses.