A 33-kDa protein antigen purified from spherules of Coccidioides immitis was analyzed for ultrastructural localization and for binding to serum antibodies from infected or immunized humans. By using colloidal gold detection of affinity-purified anti-33-kDa protein antibodies, electron photomicrographs showed binding to the inner cell wall of arthroconidia and spherules and to the septa and glycocalyx surrounding endospores. Enzyme immunoassay measurements also demonstrated that the antigen was most abundant in mature spherules. Of 37 patients with coccidioidomycosis but without concurrent human immunodeficiency virus infections, all but 2 demonstrated immunoglobulin M (IgM) (usually with early infection) or IgG antibodies for the 33-kDa antigen. In contrast, only one of four HIV-infected patients with active coccidioidal infections demonstrated antibody. On the other hand, 107 of 108 patients without evident coccidioidomycosis and 15 of 16 patients with histoplasmosis did not have similar antibodies, indicating a high degree of specificity. Immunization of humans with a spherule vaccine produced IgM responses to this antigen that were not evident in placebo recipients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|State||Published - 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases