Measles Virus-Specific Immunoglobulin G Isotype Immune Response in Early and Late Infections


American Society for Microbiology


A total of 154 human serum samples (32 acute-phase and 22 convalescent-phase serum samples obtained within a week and between days 8 and 26 after the onset of rash, respectively, and 100 samples drawn from healthy immune adults) were processed by an immunofluorescence assay for the detection of immunoglobulin M (IgM), total immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 measles virus-specific antibodies. In the acute phase, IgG1 was seen first, followed by IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 responses, the mean seropositivity of which gradually increased during convalescence, reaching 100% (standard deviation [SD], 84 to 100%), 57% (SD, 34 to 80%), 86% (SD, 66 to 100%), and 86% (SD, 66 to 100%), respectively. IgG2 rose and fell in connection with IgG3 subclass antibodies, showing a rate of detection of IgG2 and/or IgG3 subclass antibodies of 95.5% (range, 100 to 86.5%) in the convalescent phase of infection. The mean percentage of measles IgG2 and IgG3 seropositivity dropped significantly during the memory phase, to 2% (range, 2 to 6%) and 3% (range, 3 to 7%), respectively (P < 0.05); meanwhile IgG1 and IgG4 subclass responses remained relatively unmodified in samples obtained years after infection (mean 100% [SD, 96 to 100%] and 86% [SD, 79 to 93%], respectively). Results obtained defined two highly different immune isotypic response patterns. One pattern is restrictive to IgG2 and/or IgG3 in the convalescent phase and is kinetically similar to the IgM antibody response, so its detection could be referred to as a recent viral activity. On the other hand, IgG1 and IgG4 were detected in both the convalescent and memory phases of the immune response, but their isolated occurrence without IgG2 and IgG3 could be related to the long-lasting immunity.

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