Total and specific levels of immunoglobulins IgG, A and M were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a rat model of urinary tract infections (cystitis) during the early and late phases of infection. The early response was characterized by rapid rise in IgM in serum and urine. This response decreased rapidly and was undetectable in urine after eight weeks. Correlation between total serum and urine levels of IgM was not found although a chronological relationship was observed. Total and specific serum and urine IgA responses were erratic. Concentrations of IgA were low and this antibody class was undetectable in urine until the infection had been established for six weeks. In contrast, total serum and urine IgG increased in concentration at five days post infection and reached total maximum by weeks four to eight, then declined, but remained detectable over 24 weeks. Specific IgG titers remained elevated in serum but declined in urine between four and 10 weeks. A correlation between total serum and total urine IgG was found. Also, bacteria generated a concomitant nonspecific response, a part of which was detected against a common antigen expressed on E. coli J5 strain that cross-reacts with a number of gram negative genera. The results show that IgM chronologically is the first antibody to appear in increased amounts in the serum and urine, followed by IgG. The data also suggests a relationship exists between total serum IgG and total urine IgG which may affect the host's ability to eliminate urinary infection.
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