Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a major pathogen for community-acquired pneumonia and frequently causes outbreaks in children. M. pneumoniae-specific antibody response is detected upon acute infection and the serology is widely used in the clinical setting. Nevertheless, the cellular basis for antigen-specific antibody response to acute M. pneumoniae infection is largely undetermined in children. Methods: Hospitalized children with community-acquired pneumonia were enrolled and the infection with M. pneumoniae was confirmed with positive PCR result and negative findings for other pathogens. The M. pneumoniae P1-specific antibody-secreting B cell (ASC) response was examined with the ex vivo enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and the relationships between the ASC frequency and serological level and clinical parameters within M. pneumoniae patients were studied. Results: A robust M. pneumoniae P1-specific ASC response was detected in the peripheral blood among M. pneumoniae-positive patients. By contrast, no M. pneumoniae-specific ASCs were detected among M. pneumoniae-negative patients. The IgM-secreting B cells are the predominant class and account for over 60% of total circulating M. pneumoniae-specific ASCs in the acute phase of illness. The M. pneumoniae P1-specific ASC frequency significantly correlated with the fever duration, and the IgG ASC frequency significantly correlated with serological titer among patients. Conclusion: A rapid and potent elicitation of peripheral M. pneumoniae-specific ASC response to acute infection provides the cellular basis of antigen-specific humoral response and indicates the potential of cell-based diagnostic tool for acute M. pneumoniae infection. Our findings warrant further investigations into functional and molecular aspects of antibody immunity to M. pneumoniae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 免疫學與微生物學 (全部)