Vibrio cholerae O1 can cause severe watery diarrhea that can be life-threatening without treatment. Infection results in long-lasting protection against subsequent disease. Development of memory B cells of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA isotypes to V. cholerae O1 antigens, including serotype-specific lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB), after cholera infection has been demonstrated. Memory B cells of the IgM isotype may play a role in long-term protection, particularly against T-cell-independent antigens, but IgM memory has not been studied in V. cholerae O1 infection. Therefore, we assayed acute- and convalescent-phase blood samples from cholera patients for the presence of memory B cells that produce cholera antigen-specific IgM antibody upon polyclonal stimulation in in vitro culture. We also examined the development of serological and antibody-secreting cell responses following infection. Subjects developed significant IgM memory responses by day 30 after infection, both to the T-cell-independent antigen LPS and to the T-cell-dependent antigen CTB. No significant corresponding elevations in plasma IgM antibodies or circulating IgM antibody-secreting cells to CTB were detected. In 17 subjects followed to day 90 after infection, significant persistence of elevated IgM memory responses was not observed. The IgM memory response to CTB was negatively correlated with the IgG plasma antibody response to CTB, and there was a trend toward negative correlation between the IgM memory and IgA plasma antibody responses to LPS. We did not observe an association between the IgM memory response to LPS and the vibriocidal titer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases