Reaction of antibodies to Campylobacter jejuni and cytolethal distending toxin B with tissues and food antigens

Background: The bacteria Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) is commonly associated with Guillane-Barré syndrome (GBS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but studies have also linked it with Miller Fisher syndrome, reactive arthritis and other disorders, some of which are autoimmune. It is possible that C. jejuni and its toxins may be cross-reactive with some human tissues and food antigens, potentially leading to autoimmune responses. Aim: To measure the immune reactivity of C. jejuni and C. jejuni cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) antibodies with tissue and food antigens to examine their role in autoimmunities. Methods: Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology, specific antibodies made against C. jejuni and C. jejuni Cdt were applied to a variety of microwell plates coated with 45 tissues and 180 food antigens. The resulting immunoreactivities were compared to reactions with control wells coated with human serum albumin (HSA) which were used as negative controls and with wells coated with C. jejuni lysate or C. jejuni Cdt which served as positive controls. Results: At 3 SD above the mean of control wells coated with HSA or 0.41 OD, the mouse monoclonal antibody made against C. jejuni showed moderate to high reactions with zonulin, somatotropin, acetylcholine receptor, β-amyloid and presenilin. This immune reaction was low with an additional 25 tissue antigens including asialoganglioside, and the same antibody did not react at all with another 15 tissue antigens. Examining the reaction between C. jejuni antibody and 180 food antigens, we found insignificant reactions with 163 foods but low to high immune reactions with 17 food antigens. Similarly, we examined the reaction of C. jejuni Cdt with the same tissues and food antigens. The strongest reactions were observed with zonulin, intrinsic factor and somatotropin. The reaction was moderate with 9 different tissue antigens including thyroid peroxidase, and reaction was low with another 10 different antigens, including neuronal antigens. The reaction of C. jejuni Cdt antibody with an additional 23 tissue antigens was insignificant. Regarding the reaction of C. jejuni Cdt antibody with different food antigens, 160 out of 180 foods showed insignificant reactions, while 20 foods showed reactions ranging from low to high. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that C. jejuni and its Cdt may play a role in inflammation and autoimmunities beyond the gut.

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