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Serological response in Enterococcus faecalis endocarditis determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

  • P J Shorrock
  • P A Lambert
  • E J Aitchison
  • E G Smith
  • I D Farrell
  • E Gutschik
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1990
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Enterococcus (Streptococcus) faecalis expresses three species-specific surface protein antigens of molecular weights 73,000, 40,000, and 37,000. On Western blotting (immunoblotting), they were detected strongly by immunoglobulin G (IgG) in sera from patients with E. faecalis endocarditis, but not in sera from patients with other E. faecalis infections or with endocarditis due to other streptococci. We developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system to measure IgG, IgM, and IgA levels to these antigens and evaluated its potential as a serodiagnostic test for E. faecalis endocarditis. The test correctly diagnosed E. faecalis endocarditis in 15 of 16 cases. Of 10 cases of endocarditis due to other streptococci and 10 E. faecalis infections other than endocarditis, 9 and 8, respectively, gave negative results. The test should prove particularly useful in culture-negative cases, for which choice of appropriate antibiotic therapy for E. faecalis endocarditis is vital.

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