Immunoglobulin M efficacy against Cryptococcus neoformans: Mechanism, dose dependence, and prozone-like effects in passive protection experiments

C. P. Taborda, A. Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The IgM mAbs 12A1 and 13F1 are protective and nonprotective, respectively, against lethal Cryptococcus neoformans infection in mice. To better understand the variables that contribute to IgM efficacy against C. neoformans, we studied the effects of inoculum size, route of infection, and Ab dose for each of these Mabs. Mab 13F1 did not prolong survival under any condition studied, Mab 12A1 prolonged survival after the administration of certain Ab doses after i.p. infection with defined inocula and promoted phagocytosis, agglutination, and the formation of inflammatory cell rings around yeast cells ha vivo. Large Ab doses of Mab 12A1 resulted in either no protection or enhanced infection, consistent with a prozone-like effect. Investigation of this phenomenon revealed that the fungal cell was protected against microbicidal nitrogen-derived oxidants when large amounts of Ab were bound to the C. neoformans capsule. mAb 12A1 was opsonic in vitro for peritoneal, but not splenic or alveolar macrophages. In summary, our results indicate that IgM efficacy against C. neoformans is a function of the route of infection, inoculum, and Ab dose and is associated with its ability to promote opsonization, agglutination, and phagocytic ring formation in vivo. The occurrence of the prozone-like phenomenon implies that high Ab tilers are not necessarily beneficial in assuring protection against certain pathogens and that caution should be exercised in using high Ab titer as a measure for vaccine efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2100-2107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this