Background: Some enteropathogens use the type III secretion system to secrete proteins that allows them to interact with enterocytes and promote bacterial attachment or intracellular survival. These proteins are Salmonella invasion proteins (Sip), invasion plasmid antigens (Ipa) of Shigella and Escherichia coli secreted proteins (Esp) of enteropathogenic E. coli. There are no previous studies defining the presence of colostral sIgA against all these 3 major enteric pathogens. Objective: To evaluate the presence of sIgA in colostrum against proteins of the type III secretion system of Salmonella, Shigella and enteropathogenic E. coli. Methods: We collected 76 colostrum samples from puerperal women in Lima, Peru. These samples were reacted with type III secretion system proteins extracted from bacterial culture supernatants and evaluated by Western Blot. Results: Antibodies were detected against Salmonella antigens SipA in 75 samples (99%), SipC in 62 (82%) and SipB in 31 (41%); against Shigella antigens IpaC in 70 (92%), IpaB in 68 (89%), IpaA in 66 (87%) and IpaD in 41 (54%); and against enteropathogenic E. coli EspC in 70 (92%), EspB-D in 65 (86%) and EspA in 41 (54%). Ten percent of samples had antibodies against all proteins evaluated and 42% against all except 1 protein. There was no sample negative to all these proteins. Conclusions: The extraordinarily high frequency of antibodies in colostrum of puerperal women detected in this study against these multiple enteric pathogens shows evidence of immunological memory and prior exposure to these pathogens, in addition to its possible protective role against infection.
- Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli
- Secretory immunoglobulin A
- Type 3 secretion system