Twenty-four monoclonal antibodies were produced by immunizing BALB/c mice with Rickettsia tsutsugamushi Boryong strain and used for the analysis of antigenic characteristics of R.tsutsugamushi Boryong strain and antigenic heterogeneity of R.tsutsugamushi by indirect immunofluorescent(IF) test. R. tsutsugamushi Kato, Karp, Gilliam, TA686, TA716, TA763, TC586, TH1817, and Boryong were used for the analysis of antigenic heterogeneity of R.tsutsugamushi. Five monoclonal antibodies were reactive with 27-kDa protein, four monoclonal antibodies were reactive with 47-kDa protein, and eight monoclonal antibodies were reactive with 56-kDa protein of R.tsutsugamushi Boryong strain. The reactive protein of seven monoclonal antibodies could not be identified by immunoblotting method. All monoclonal antibodies to 27-kDa protein and three monoclonal antibodies to 47-kDa protein, and five monoclonal antibodies to 56-kDa protein were reactive with three to eight strains among nine strains of R. tsutsugamushi tested. One monoclonal antibody reactive to 47-kDa protein(KI18) and two monoclonal antibodies reactive to 56-kDa protein(KI36, and KI37) reacted with all the strains of R. tsutsugamushi tested. Strain-specific monoclonal antibody(KI58) could be found among antibodies which were reactive with 56-kDa protein. There was no strain which showed same reactivity pattern to these 24 monoclonal antibodies among nine strains. From this results, it could be concluded that Boryong strain is antigenically different from other strains of R.tsutsugamushi and antigenic heterogeneity of R.tsutsugamushi is due to the antigenic diversity of several proteins of R. tsutsugamushi including 56-kDa protein.
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