The coccidioidal complement fixation and immunodiffusion-complement fixation antigen is a chitinase

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Culture filtrates and autolysates of Coccidioides immitis have provided suitable crude antigens for the serodiagnosis and prognosis of coccidioidomycosis. One of these, a heat-labile antigen which participates in the immunodiffusion reaction corresponding to the complement fixation reaction (IDCF), has been characterized as a 110-kDa native protein that, when subjected to reducing conditions and heat, yields a 48-kDa component. The present report provides serologic and biochemical evidence that this antigen is a chitinase. This chitinase, isolated from 48-h culture filtrate of the spherule-endospore-phase C. immitis by affinity adsorption to chitin, formed a line of identity with the IDCF reference antigen and participated in the complement fixation reaction with human serum. It lost its enzymatic as well as antigenic activity when heated, but when not heated it retained its enzymatic activity even when precipitated with coccidioidal antibody present in human serum. This chitinase represents a significant serodiagnostic substance and may be important in the morphogenesis of C. immitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2588-2592
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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