Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen, which causes serious debilitating infections in patients with compromised lung function. The mechanism by which P. aeruginosa is cleared from the lung is not fully defined, although our previous studies have established a role for cellular immunity in protection against P. aeruginosa infections. This study aimed to evaluate the role of P. aeruginosa-specific IgG in protection against P. aeruginosa in a rat model of acute pulmonary infection. Immunoaffinity chromatography was used to purify total rat IgG from rat immune serum (rats immunised with P. aeruginosa) and non-immune serum. Untreated recipient rats were injected intravenously with different concentrations of pure IgG prepared from serum of unimmunised rats (non-immune IgG) or from rats immunised intestinally with killed P. aeruginosa (immune IgG) and infected intratracheally with P. aeruginosa 18 h later. The protective capability of the purified IgG against P. aeruginosa was assessed by measurement of reduction in P. aeruginosa infection in the lung 4 h after instillation of bacteria. Enhanced bacterial clearance induced by IgG was determined to be dose-dependent with a 1 mg dose failing to enhance clearance, whereas 5 mg of immune IgG enhanced clearance from the airways and the lung tissue. Measurement of the IgG1, IgG2a and IgG2b isotypes in serum and the lung lavage following transfer of P. aeruginosa-specific IgG found that all three were present. These results demonstrate that anti-P. aeruginosa IgG can enhance bacterial clearance from the airways in an acute infection and identify an important role for IgG in acute respiratory infections caused by P. aeruginosa.
FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology Vol. 39, Issue 1, p. 37-44