The serologic responses to Campylobacter jejuni in persons involved in two clusters of infection and in control subjects were studied. In the first cluster, in which previously unexposed persons drank raw milk, the attack rate was high and elevated complement-fixing (CF) and specific IgG and IgM antibodies were demonstrated. In the second cluster, involving farmers who chronically drank raw milk, the attack rate was low, but titers of CF and IgG antibodies were high in both affected and unaffected persons. At a control dairy farm, where milk was drunk regularly, asymptomatic infections and high CF titers were demonstrated. In contrast to the findings in the first cluster, the titers of IgM antibody among the dairy farmers were low. These studies suggest that chronic exposure to C. jejuni may lead to immunity that may possibly be mediated by IgG.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Received for publication October 6, 1982, and in revised form January 3, 1983. This work was supported in part by grants from the World Health Organization and the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis. We thank Russell Olmstead and Jack Korlath for assistance in collecting specimens and interviewing patients and Dr. John Penner for serotyping the isolates. Please address requests for reprints to Dr. M. J. Blaser, Infectious Disease Section (LllL), V.A. Medical Center, 1055 Clermont Street, Denver, Colorado 80220. * Dr. Istre from the Centers for Disease Control was assigned to the Colorado Department of Health in Denver, Colorado, for the duration of these studies.
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